With exactly 961 days to go until the start of the XXVI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, venue construction and event planning work by the organizing committee — VANOC — is at full speed. Following the decision of the IOC Executive Board last autumn to accept ski cross into the program, the six FIS Olympic disciplines will award a total of 120 medals including 40 titles at the 2010 Games.
The ski and snowboard events will take place at three different venues. The Alpine Skiing events will be held at the world-famous Whistler Mountain Resort whilst the Nordic events take place at the brand-new Whistler Nordic Center in Callaghan Valley. The competition sites for the six competitions in Freestyle Skiing and for the six Snowboard events are located in the Cypress Provincial Park. With spectacular views of the city of Vancouver and its harbor, Cypress Mountain is one of the most popular skiing areas in British Columbia. It is located just 31 km from the Vancouver Olympic Village in West Vancouver.
Construction work at Cypress began in May 2006. Coursework at the new Freestyle aerials and moguls site, the upper half of the re-graded Snowboard parallel giant slalom course and snow-making pipe-work were all completed last summer. The focus this summer is on finalizing the Snowboard PGS course as well as the snowboard cross & Freestyle ski cross course. The aerials judges’ tower and the over-the-ground parts for snow-making as well as lighting will be constructed. A new in-ground half-pipe is also currently being built, based on the new Olympic specifications which were further refined following the first test event in Calgary this spring.
â€œWe are well in schedule with our construction despite the enormous amounts of snow we received this winter. In fact, there is still some snow in the upper parts of the snowboard cross/ski cross course now,â€ noted Eric Fremont, Manager, Freestyle Skiing & Snowboard at VANOC. â€œEverything will be in place by November so that we can get ready for our first test events in 2009 and the Freestyle FIS World Cup aerials and moguls events on 9th-10th February. We will also organize some national Snowboard events to prepare for the final Snowboard tests as part of the FIS Snowboard World Cup tour in 2009,â€ he added.