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Whistler Olympic Park
The Whistler Olympic Park is the location of the Nordic events facilities for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is located in the Madeley Creek basin in the Callaghan Valleymarker, west of Whistler, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker. The facility will host the biathlon, cross-country skiing, nordic combined, and ski jumping, and after the Olympics will remain a public facility, complementing the extensive wilderness trails and alpine routes already in use. Three stadia, with both temporary and permanent features, are being built with a capacity for 10,000 spectators each (6,000 for the Paralympics). The location is approximately 8 km from the junction of its access road with Highway 99 and 14 km from the Whistler Olympic Village.

14 kilometres of cross country and biathlon trails, two ski jumps (90 and 120 metre), and another 20 to 25 km of recreational trails are being built. Overall, $100 million will be spent on the facilities in the Callaghan Valley. Permanent were completed in the fall of 2007. In the future, it will be a cross-country and back country ski facility.

The park was officially opened to the public on November 22, 2008 at noon PST despite having no snow the previous evening. The area received 30 cm of snow overnight. Inauguration took place at the 1020 m2 day lodge to mark the start of the public skiing season. 500 people daily would use the lodge during weekends and 100 during a regular weekday on the $119 million to complete.

World Cup competitions at the park took place the weekend of January 15-18, 2009 for cross country skiing and nordic combined. Eleven nordic combined teams totalling 50 skiers and 47 support staff along with 17 cross country teams with about 230 skiers participated in the event. Ski jumping World Cup at the venue took place on the weekend of January 22-25, 2009. The Park is the first venue in 2009 to have its operational readiness tested for the upcoming Games in 2010.

Winners of the test events for cross country skiing were Slovakiamarker's Alena Prochazkova in women's sprint, Emil Jönsson of Swedenmarker in the men's sprint, Justyna Kowalczyk of Polandmarker in the women's double pursuit, Italymarker's Pietro Piller Cottrer in the men's double pursuit, and in the team sprint, the winners were Italymarker for the women (Magda Genuin and Arianna Follis) and Sweden for the men (Jönsson and Robin Bryntesson). The nordic combined winners were Bill Demong of the United Statesmarker on the 16th and Norwaymarker's Magnus Moan on the 17th. Austriamarker's Gregor Schlierenzauer won both ski jumping test events.

References

  1. FIS Newsflash 207. November 26, 2008.
  2. FIS Newsflash 214. January 14, 2009.
  3. FIS Newsflash 215. January 21, 2009.
  4. FIS Newsflash 216. January 28, 2009.


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