Cypress Mountain alpine runs closed early to preserve snow, prepare venue for
2010 Winter Games

Ski resort to reopen to public after Games on March 9

VANCOUVER, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - To preserve and protect the integrity of the 2010 Winter Games snowboard and freestyle skiing courses at Cypress Mountain, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Cypress Mountain management have agreed this morning to close the ski resort's alpine runs to the public effective today, two and half weeks earlier than planned. Cypress Mountain will reopen its alpine runs for public use as planned on March 9.

The decision to close the mountain until after the Games follows several days of unseasonably warm and wet weather in the Vancouver area, during which VANOC has been running an intensive snow salvage project to conserve snow, including stockpiling snow at higher elevations. This week Cypress Mountain management decided to close for two days, as did other West Vancouver Mountains, because of heavy rain.

With this early closure, VANOC will move forward with construction in areas previously contemplated to start on February 1. These tasks include: the installation of warming tents, fencing, wayfinding signs and Look of the Games banners around the venue. Snowmaking will also continue as soon as conditions permit.

"Closing Cypress Mountain early is the responsible thing to do, given the recent weather, in order to make sure we're ready to host the world's best athletes in one month's time," said Tim Gayda, VANOC's vice president of sport. "We appreciate Cypress Mountain management's support and we'd like to thank all Cypress Mountain users for their understanding and look forward to helping welcome them back in March."

Cypress will host competitions at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in aerials, moguls, parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, and ski cross - which is making its Olympic debut in 2010.

Editors Note: A media availability will be held this morning at 11:00 am (Pacific Time) at Cypress Mountain with Tim Gayda, VANOC's vice president of sport and Kent Rideout of Cypress Mountain.

Media are asked to park in Lot 3B, where they will be provided with instructions. Please be prepared to walk for 10 to 15 minutes, dress appropriately and bring an umbrella as the availability will be held outdoors.

About Snow Making at Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain has a snowmaking reservoir of more than 22.7 million litres of water (five million gallons) and the terrain has been shaped to accommodate the construction of freestyle skiing and snowboard event courses with the minimum amount of snow needed.

State-of-the-art snow making using 35 snow guns has been operating around-the-clock since November and has converted over 95.3 million litres of water (21 million gallons) to snow needed to construct the courses. This snow has been stockpiled all over the mountain to ensure the terrain at Games time can sustain all weather conditions. Over the next three weeks, the snow will be pushed down the mountain by snow grooming machinery where it will be shaped by machine and by hand to create the freestyle and snowboard courses, including the 60-metre-long superpipe, which is 19.5 m to 20 m wide and 6.5 m high.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Bridget Cox, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-4502, E-mail: bridget_cox@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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