Excitement is building in Greater Vernon as we prepare to host the World Cup of cross-country skiing at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre in December.
Over 160 of the world’s best cross-country skiers will be competing in this World Cup, the last opportunity nations have to qualify athletes for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The athletes competing here will be the same ones we will be watching on television a few weeks later!
In addition to two days of heart-stopping races (December 10 and 11), there will be a fun-packed Nordic Festival on the Hill and in Vernon — eight days of â€œpure eXCitementâ€! The celebration begins Saturday, December 3 with a spectacular Opening Ceremonies in downtown Vernon, part of the Downtown Vernon Association’s Festival of Christmas Traditions, followed by a street party with live bands. It continues all week with a concert showcasing North Okanagan talent, ski camps, and the Rotary Festival Tent on the hill with a pancake breakfast and family entertainment before and after the races.
Vernon is home to one of North America’s largest Nordic clubs, the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, which operates the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. Nestled in the tranquility of Silver Star Provincial Park, the facility has over 50 km of groomed trails (3.5 km lighted), a biathlon range and 12 km of snowshoe trails, all combined to create a winter destination known throughout North America. The Centre provides a state-of-the art facility for international elite athlete and the recreational skier alike.
Preparations for the World Cup race course have been underway for the past two years, with venue design, funding and event plans being developed. Step one in the process was to design and fund the necessary infrastructure upgrades. Almost all aspects of the venue required upgrading to meet international event standards. In addition to extensive race course and stadium construction, trail lighting was installed and the power supply, water supply, septic system and parking were all upgraded. A new equipment shop and technical building were constructed this past summer. Over the past two summers, over $2 million in upgrades have been completed. All we need now is snow!
What has made all of these developments possible, in addition to significant support from all three levels of government and many sponsors, is the work of extraordinary volunteers. There are now over 500 people dedicated to making this one of the most successful events ever hosted by our community.
For more information, log onto www.sovereignlake2005.ca
Experience â€œpure eXCitementâ€!
Source: Sovereign Lake press release