VANOC concludes field of play testing for aerials, moguls and ski cross, prepares for snowboard sport event February 12 to 15



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - While the world's best athletes thrilled local
spectators at the Canada Post Grand Prix at Cypress Mountain, the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
conducted its operational testing in the areas of field of play, workforce and
medical services. Approximately 300 athletes from 28 countries participated at
the freestyle skiing sport event that ran Thursday, February 5 through
Saturday, February 7, showcasing the three freestyle disciplines - aerials,
moguls and ski cross. Testing will continue at the snowboard sport event,
February 12 to 15.
    "Our teams on the ground have been pushed to the limit, working days and
nights to meet the necessary timelines and logistical requirements of staging
the event," said Tim Gayda, VANOC vice president, sport. "This was a great
chance for the Cypress Mountain guests to see world-class competitors at their
best."

    Field of Play

    Testing included timelines for building and designing, as well as
grooming and maintenance of the competition courses. VANOC gained valuable
insights into the complexity of on-hill transport of overlay equipment,
including tents, power, fencing, scaffolding and camera equipment for
broadcast and technology. All three courses were completed in time to meet the
training and competition schedule for the event, and VANOC learned that an
additional on-hill operational crew will be required at Games time to
facilitate overnight work in the areas of on-hill transport.
    Ski cross athletes, who will make their Olympic debut next year, raced
for the first time on the newly constructed Olympic course.
    "The course is amazing. It's what we've all been waiting for for a long
time," said Chris Del Bosco, who led the Canadian men to a podium sweep at
Friday's ski cross competition. "I love the features, the jumps, the bank
turns - there are a lot of places where people can make mistakes, which is a
great test for a competitor's all-round skiing ability."
    Competitors appreciated the maintenance on the freestyle mogul course,
recognizing the efforts of the course workers.
    "The course is great and the weather's been good all week," said mogul
skier Sho Kashima of the United States. "There have been lot of changes
throughout the week but that's just because of the warm weather. The course
workers have been doing a great job of adjusting to the weather all week."

    Workforce

    A staff and volunteer workforce of over 700 (136 staff, 582 volunteers,
72 contractors and eight RCMP flag-bearers) worked through the week and will
remain on-site for the upcoming snowboard sport event. Volunteers gained
experience and valuable insight in the realms of both sport and international
competition, which will be a valuable asset at Games time. Field of Play sport
volunteers, for example, participated in a sport-specific experience by
maintaining the competition courses. This included chopping snow to keep the
landing hill soft at the aerial venue, and side-slipping both the mogul and
ski cross courses to keep them in optimal shape for competitors.

    Medical Services

    The 32-person medical services team, comprised of ski patrollers and
physicians, replicated Games-time field of play medical service levels, with
medical personnel ski patrollers acting as first responders. Mock scenarios
were also conducted to test response time, communication and evacuation
procedures. The team will continue its testing throughout the upcoming
snowboard sport event.

    Transportation and Spectator Services

    VANOC did not test any transportation or spectator services due to
characteristic Games-time operational differences, however, VANOC, Cypress
Mountain and the District of West Vancouver made best efforts to accommodate
spectator interest wherever possible given the venue's limited capacity.
Spectator shuttle tickets for all three days of competition sold out. At the
same time, skiers and riders who were on the mountain also had the opportunity
to take in the competition.
    "Staging an event of this size is a large and complex undertaking at any
time," said Gayda. "We've worked hard to ensure we have delivered an
exceptional field of play for the world's best freestyle athletes while
respecting that the competitions are taking place during Cypress Mountain's
peak period when it's operating at full capacity."

    Upcoming Snowboard Sport Event:

    The snowboard sport event at Cypress Mountain scheduled for February 12
to February 15 will feature approximately 320 athletes from 20 countries
competing in the halfpipe, parallel giant slalom and snowboard cross
competitions. As VANOC will be operating under the same testing model as the
freestyle sport event, the snowboard event will provide a further opportunity
to learn and refine operations in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Games.
Additional testing next week will include the "load-out" process, where all
equipment and overlay are removed from the mountain, and the terrain at the
competition courses will revert back to public ski terrain, both through
grooming and snow moving.
    For more information on the snowboard sport event please visit
www.snowboardworldcup2009.com. For more information on the remaining sport
events taking place from February to September 2009, including how to purchase
tickets, visit www.vancouver2010.com. Remaining sport events include:

    
    FIS Snowboard World Cup
    Date: February 12-15, 2009
    Location: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

    FIL Luge World Cup
    Date: February 16-21, 2009
    Location: The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler

    WCF World Wheelchair Curling Championship
    Date: February 21-28, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Paralympic Centre (Hillcrest/Nat Bailey
    Stadium Park), Vancouver

    Hockey Canada Cup - Ice Sledge Hockey
    Date: February 24-March 1, 2009
    Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena, Vancouver

    IPC Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon World Cup Final
    Date: March 4-7, 2009
    Location: Whistler Paralympic Park, Whistler

    World Junior Curling Championships
    Date: March 5-15, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Olympic Centre (Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park),
    Vancouver

    IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals
    Date: March 9-14, 2009
    Location: Whistler Creekside, Whistler

    IBU Biathlon World Cup
    Date: March 11-15, 2009
    Location: Whistler Olympic Park

    ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships
    Date: March 12-15, 2009
    Location: Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond

    Hockey Canada Cup - Women's Hockey
    Date: August 31-September 6, 2009
    Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena and Canada Hockey Place, Vancouver
    

    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 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.





For further information:

For further information: Mary Fraser, VANOC Communications, (604)
403-2667, mary_fraser@vancouver2010.com

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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