VANCOUVER 2010: Two new venues get underway
21 June 2005
Work has begun in the Callaghan Valley, near Whistler, on two of the venues for the XXI Olympic Winter Games — Vancouver 2010. The Whistler Nordic Competition Venue, which was started on 16 April 2005, and the Whistler Sliding Centre, which was started this month, will play host to cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon and Nordic combined, and bobsleigh, luge and skeleton, respectively, during the Games. The venues are expected to be completed in 2007, in time to give the athletes two years of training time at the venues before the Games in 2010.
Nordic competition venue
The new Whistler Nordic Competition Venue is a 250-hectare project involving competition trails, ski jumps, a biathlon facility, three temporary stadiums with a capacity of 12,000 spectators each, sewer/water/power services, access roads, internal roads, parking lots, a lodge and other related infrastructure. The venue is expected to reflect the best elements of similar facilities designed for previous Olympic Games.
The Whistler Sliding Centre will be a top-level track that has taken its inspiration from previous Olympic tracks in Calgary, Lillehammer, Lake Placid and Salt Lake City. The track will measure 1,450 metres and will have refrigeration facilities, an access road, and a capacity of 11,650 spectators during the Games. The centre and the Nordic venue are both part of a C$620 million investment for the Winter Games in 2010, funded in equal part by the governments of Canada and British Columbia.
Both the Nordic Competition Venue and the Sliding Centre will be built in a currently undeveloped area close to Whistler. For this reason, both sites were subject to comprehensive environmental screening processes and consultations with the public, stakeholder groups and First Nations. Both projects were given approval by the relevant bodies and are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
Once the Games are over, both facilities will have legacy functions that will allow them to be used by the local community and high-level athletes alike. The Nordic venue will serve the local residents, visitors and athletes in a number of ways, including recreational use and high-performance competitions and training. The Sliding Centre will benefit from an endowment trust and will be used post-Games for athlete training, and by winter sports enthusiasts.
Vancouver will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to 28 February 2010. The mountain events will take place in Whistler, which will also host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010.