The Whistler Sliding Centre wraps up World Cup events

    Sliding sport events charm sold-out crowds, yield track records and
    produce top speeds

    WHISTLER, BC, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - After four fantastic weeks of sliding
action (including two World Cups and an International Training Week), The
Whistler Sliding Centre wrapped up its World Cup hosting duties tonight with
the men's luge finals in the FIL Luge World Cup.
    Using the World Cups to test its operational readiness before the Games,
the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC) will now take key learning provided by the sliding sport events
to produce a world-class experience for spectators and athletes in 2010.
    Sold-out crowds, high-performance athletes and the three fastest sports
on ice resulted in the venue being a hit for everyone involved. With over
2,818 runs taking place over the past four weeks, The Whistler Sliding Centre
retained its reputation as a technically demanding fast track in the eyes of
the International Sport Federations.
    "My technical delegate told me this week that the Games could start
tomorrow and the track would be ready," said Josef Fendt, president,
Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (FIL). "I appreciate the whole
Whistler Sliding Centre."
    "This is a very unique track in the world because of the speed, and we
are so happy to have it," said Walter Plaikner, chairman of the Sport
Technical Commission for the FIL, and head coach for the Italian national luge
team. "It is the first time that we've had athletes reaching speeds up to 144
kilometres per hour in training. With proper race preparation we should be up
to 150 kilometres per hour, which is about as fast as we can go in our sport."
    "This is a great track that will challenge all the skills of the modern
sliding athletes. It is fast, technical, demanding and interesting," said
Robert Storey, president, the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de
Tobogganing (FIBT). "The Whistler Sliding Centre is an example of the new
tracks of the future, as well as a great sporting legacy."
    "I'd like to thank the over 460 individuals who gave so much of their
time and effort to make the past four weeks of sliding, competition and
overall event operations a success," said Craig Lehto, director, The Whistler
Sliding Centre. "One of our goals was to learn a lot, and we have. Our
confidence is extremely high in the team and we are ready to face the
challenge of staging the Games."
    Sliding statistics from the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge sport events

    Fastest Times (Track Records)

    -  Four-man bobsleigh - 50.97 (LAT) 1 Janis Minins
    -  Two-man bobsleigh - 51.95 (SUI) 2 Beat Hefti
    -  Women's bobsleigh - 53.57 (USA) 1 Shauna Rohbock
    -  Men's skeleton - 53.67 (CAN) Jeff Pain
    -  Women's skeleton - 54.81 (CAN) Mellisa Hollingsworth
    -  Men's luge - 46.808 (GER) Felix Loch
    -  Doubles luge - 48.608 (GER) Patric Leitner/Alexander Resch
    -  Women's luge - 48.992 (GER) Natalie Geisenberger

    Top Speeds

    -  Bobsleigh 153.03 km/h - (LAT) 1 (four-man)
    -  Skeleton 140.82 km/h - (CAN) Jon Montgomery
    -  Doubles luge - 144.05 km/h - (GER) Andre Florschutz/Torsten Wustlich
    -  Women's luge - 144.40 km/h - (GER) Anke Wischnewski
    -  Men's luge - 153.937 km/h - (GER) Felix Loch

    Number of Sleds, Athletes and Countries Per Event:

    -  Four-man bobsleigh - 23 sleds, 92 athletes, 13 countries
    -  Two-man bobsleigh - 27 sleds, 54 athletes, 15 countries
    -  Women's bobsleigh - 20 sleds, 40 athletes, 10 countries
    -  Men's skeleton - 28 sleds, 28 athletes, 14 countries
    -  Women's skeleton - 21 sleds, 21 athletes, 10 countries
    -  Men's luge - 67 sleds, 67 athletes, 23 countries
    -  Doubles luge - 13 sleds, 26 athletes, 12 countries
    -  Women's luge - 42 sleds, 42 athletes, 20 countries

    Attendance for FIBT Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup

    -  3,000 spectators each day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

    Attendance for FIL Luge World Cup

    -  3,000 spectators each day (Friday, Saturday)

    The track will continue to operate through to March 22, 2009 with
Canadian national team training camps. For more information visit or call 1.888.WSC.SLED
    For more information on the remaining sport events taking place from
February to September 2009, including how to purchase tickets, please visit
    Remaining sport events taking place from February to September 2009

    WCF World Wheelchair Curling Championship
    Date: February 21-28, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Vancouver

    Hockey Canada Cup - Sledge Hockey
    Date: February 24 to 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, 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 to 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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: John Gibson, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-1585,

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