Building a Whistler Legacy After 2010
For the Olympic host nation, what happens after is as important as what happens during a Games. In the grand scheme of things, far more so. In the mountains north of Vancouver, Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies (www.whistler2010sportlegacies.com) is busy ensuring that a legacy will be left after the athletes, spectators and media leave the resort town and community.
The non profit group (on whose seven-member board sits COC Chief Financial Officer Lou Ragagnin) is responsible for creating a sustainable legacy for three facilities, two of which are Games competition venues. Whistler Olympic Park is the site of biathlon, ski jumping, Nordic combined and cross-country ski (60 km worth of trails) for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. And the Whistler Sliding Centre will host bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton competitions, and will also offer long-term training potential post-2010.
But the least-known legacy focus, and one very important for high-performance athletes, is the Whistler Athletes’ Centre. Into the future, Canada’s athletes can seek accommodations for prices well below market value. Facilities being built for the 2010 Games will turn into lodging for athletes who wish to train in Whistler for as long as desired. The centre features 20 town homes (two- and three-bedroom) as well as a dorm-style lodge with 100 bedrooms (two beds per room). In all, the Athletes’ Centre will be able to comfortably host about 250 athletes at any given time. Athletes have the choice of staying in the lodge for a short period of time, or renting a town home – complete with kitchen, living room and so on – if they happen to be in Whistler training for a month or more.
A separate building, called the High Performance Centre, will feature two large gym spaces for indoor training. One will offer 4,000 square feet of space for strength and conditioning exercises. The other, at 6,000 square feet, will be a Gymnastics Hall. As such, the Centre will be of great value to athletes in both summer and winter sports. There will also be restaurant space. The entire centre is located in Whistler’s Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood.
Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies is ensuring an excellent complex will exist long past the Games for athletes and teams who will train, compete and live in the Sea to Sky region.