Vancouver 2010 venue, Whistler Olympic Park, opens tomorrow

    Legacy begins with first Nordic competitors as young as six years old

    WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will open the doors of the
newly constructed Whistler Olympic Park on Saturday, December 15, 2007, its
first day of business, providing access for both high-performance athlete
training and recreational use more than two years before the Games.
    Tomorrow's activities at Whistler Olympic Park, formerly known as the
Whistler Nordic Venue, will see more than 100 cross-country ski competitors of
all ages take to the trails in the Coast Cup No.1, the facility's first
officially registered competition. Organized by the Hollyburn Jackrabbit Ski
Club, the race is open to participants of all experience levels, including new
skiers as young as six years old. Racers will be joined by members of the
Canadian ParaNordic Cross-Country Ski Team and an enthusiastic skiing public
that has eagerly anticipated the opportunity to use the world-class facility.
    "For Nordic skiers of all ages and levels of skill, the legacy of the
2010 Winter Games begins now with the opening of the Whistler Olympic Park,"
said Cathy Priestner Allinger, VANOC's Executive Vice President, Sport,
Paralympics and Venue Management division. "This outstanding facility is among
the best of its kind in the world. It will not only attract elite athletes
from across the country and around the globe, but will also give residents of
surrounding communities and visitors to the region the opportunity to
experience the best that Nordic sport has to offer."
    Located in the Callaghan Valley, 20 kilometres south of Whistler, British
Columbia, Whistler Olympic Park will host the biathlon, cross-country skiing,
Nordic combined and ski jumping events during the 2010 Winter Games. The
venue's compact, two-square-kilometre Olympic Games core area includes three
separate stadia located approximately 500 metres apart, and 14 kilometres of
competition trails comprised of two five-kilometre loops for cross-country
skiing and one four-kilometre loop for biathlon. Also in the core area is
Canada's first Paralympic competition course, specifically created for
athletes with physical disabilities. Surrounding the core facility are an
additional 25 kilometres of recreational trails and the two Olympic ski jumps.
    "I feel privileged that I'll be among the 100+ athletes to be the first
to compete at this venue," said Colette Bourgonje, Saskatoon resident, and
five-time Paralympic Winter Games double silver and double bronze medallist.
"Yes, this venue is going to be spectacular for the Games, but this first race
is the best example of the legacy the venue will leave for the region. Nordic
skiers of all ages will be skiing here for decades to come - I know I will."
    On opening day, up to 35 kilometres of recreation and competition trails
will be available and groomed for classic and skate skiers from beginner to
expert. Amenities available include cross-country ski rentals; lessons; trail
passes; snack foods; and hot and cold drinks. More information on pricing for
lessons and ski rentals is available at
    Whistler Olympic Park's hours of operation, through the end of December,
are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, seven days per week. Beginning January 2, 2008,
the hours of operation will be extended to accommodate evening activities, and
will be open Tuesday to Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Saturday to Monday
from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
    Season Passes for Whistler Olympic Park and a Dual Area Pass for Whistler
Olympic Park and the Lost lake Trails in Whistler are available at Whistler
Olympic Park and the Cross Country Connection shop (at the Lost Lake Trails in

    The following events are scheduled for Whistler Olympic Park during the
    upcoming winter season:

    Competitions at Whistler Olympic Park
     - Winter 2008                                 Start Date        End Date
    Cross-Country Coast Cup
     (Hosted by Hollyburn Jackrabbits)             15/12/2007      15/12/2007
    CC BC Winter Games Trials
    (Hosted by Hollyburn Jackrabbits)              30/12/2007      30/12/2007
    Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined
     Nationals/North American Jr Championships
     (Hosted by CALOC)                               2/1/2008        5/1/2008
    Biathlon Cadet Zone Trials and BC
     Winter Games Trials
     (Hosted by West Coast Nordics)                 12/1/2008       14/1/2008
    Cross-Country BC Cup (Hosted by CALOC)          19/1/2008       20/1/2008
    Biathlon BC Cup (Hosted by CALOC)               26/1/2008       27/1/2008
    CC Coast Cup (Hosted by Spud Valley Nordics)    17/2/2008       17/2/2008
    CC Coast Cup (Hosted by Whistler Nordics)       18/2/2008       18/2/2008
    FIS Cup/FIS Continental Cup Ski Jumping
     (Hosted by CALOC)                              27/2/2008        2/3/2008
    Cross-Country Nationals (Hosted by CALOC)       16/3/2008       23/3/2008
    Biathlon Nationals (Hosted by CALOC)            25/3/2008       30/3/2008
    Note: CALOC is a collaboration between VANOC's Nordic department and the
    Squamish Community with assistance from local Sea-to-Sky Nordic clubs.

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Stephane Delisle, Vancouver
2010, (778) 328-1186; Katie Green, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6473

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