The Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Olympic Park to open for public tours



    Community invited to learn about venues and sports

    VANCOUVER, June 5 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today announced that The Whistler
Sliding Centre will open its doors for tours this summer, providing the public
with the first opportunity to personally touch and feel one of the 2010 Winter
Games venues. Located on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler BC, The Whistler
Sliding Centre will be home to bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions in
2010. It is one of only 15 international competition sliding tracks in the
world, and one of four in North America.
    Whistler Olympic Park will also host tours this summer, offering members
of the public the opportunity to explore the trails and recreational
facilities that make up the venue, and a first-hand look at one of the world's
most sophisticated ski jumps. During the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler Olympic
Park will be home to biathlon, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski
jumping. Located 15 kilometres south of Whistler, the facility opened its
doors to both recreational and competitive skiers during the 2007-08 winter
season.
    "Tours are a great opportunity for the public to get a first-hand look at
some of the most spectacular facilities of the Games and to learn about the
sports they will host," said Cathy Priestner Allinger, VANOC executive vice
president, sport and Games operations. "Visitors will leave with a great sense
of anticipation for the thrilling competitions that will take place there this
winter, and in 2010. This is also a great chance for residents to familiarize
themselves with the world-class facilities that are now in their own backyard,
and what will be an important part of their community for years to come."
    Canadian athletes who have driven The Whistler Sliding Centre track have
said it is one of the fastest and most challenging in the world. After
participating in the christening of the track in December 2007, Pierre
Lueders, four-time Olympian, and the most decorated slider in Canadian
history, noted: "It's definitely the fastest track in the world and that's
what makes it so difficult." Canadian skeleton racer Michelle Kelly agreed,
stating, "It's an exciting track and what's hard about it is that it has crazy
speed, but any loss of concentration and you can get in trouble because it is
technical as well." Over 13 days of Olympic competition, athletes will compete
for a total 24 Olympic medals at The Whistler Sliding Centre.
    Self-guided walking tours of The Whistler Sliding Centre will begin on
July 3 and continue until the end of August. Admission for these tours is $5.
    Beginning June 15, free, self-guided walking, car or bike tours of
Whistler Olympic Park will be available during park hours. Visitors interested
in guided tours or tours of the ski jumps, however, must book in advance at
www.whistlerolympicpark.com or by calling 604.964.2455. Admission fees for
guided tours of Whistler Olympic Park will vary depending on tour choice.
Proceeds from the tours will be directed towards general administration and
overhead relating specifically to the summer 2008 venue tour programs. Both
The Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Olympic Park are wheelchair
accessible.
    After the 2010 Winter Games, The Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler
Olympic Park will provide sport and recreation legacies as well as economic
opportunities under the direction of the Whistler Legacies Society.

    About VANOC

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X 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.

    
    QUICK FACTS
    -----------
    The Whistler Sliding Centre

    -   One of only 15 international competition sliding tracks in the world
    -   Highest vertical drop of any track in the world: 152 metres
    -   Track G-force is expected to reach 5.02 Gs (men's luge)
    -   Highest speed reached in inaugural 2007-08 season: 147.9 kilometres
        per hour (four-man bobsleigh)
    -   A thin ice surface measuring between two and five centimetres is
        produced and maintained by hand
    -   The track measures 1,450 metres from start to finish, with an
        elevation change of over 150 metres
    -   350 tons of concrete were used to construct the track
    -   The track has 36 on-track cameras and 42 "timing eyes"
    -   Energy-efficiency initiatives, designed to minimize refrigeration
        plant energy use, include an ammonia refrigeration system. Ammonia is
        one of the most energy-efficient refrigerants, producing no
        chlorofluorocarbons (which contribute to ozone-layer depletion and
        global climate change).

    Whistler Olympic Park
    ---------------------
    -   First time in Olympic Winter Games history that all four Nordic
        disciplines (biathlon, ski jumping, Nordic combined, cross-country
        skiing) are occurring at the same venue
    -   The only snowmaking system at the venue is for the ski jump landing
        hill
    -   The venue has approximately five kilometres of paved rollerski trails
        and six kilometres of lit trails to enhance training opportunities
    -   The venue will host 30 per cent of the Olympic medal events and 50
        per cent of the Paralympic medal events
    -   Athletes will ski an average speed of just under 25 kilometres per
        hour during cross-country ski races, reaching maximum speeds near
        60 kilometres per hour
    -   During the men's 50-kilometre race, the athletes will climb
        approximately 2,000 vertical metres (more than twice the vertical of
        the men's alpine downhill course at Whistler Creekside). The winning
        time for this race is expected to be approximately 2 hours, with an
        average speed of almost 25 kilometres per hour
    -   Sustainability initiatives include an on-site waste water treatment
        plant to use leading technology (tertiary membrane filtration and
        ultraviolet disinfection) for high-quality discharge to local surface
        water. During Games-time, as with other outdoor venues, temporary
        wastewater collection infrastructure will be in place to accommodate
        high user numbers.
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jason Macnaughton, Vancouver
2010, (778) 328-6734; Chris Brumwell, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6269

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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