VANOC wraps up operational testing at Cypress Mountain Snowboard sport event; today's Feb. 15 PGS snowboard event cancelled due to soft snow conditions

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the Vancouver Organizing Committee
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) completed day three
of its field of play testing at World Cup snowboard competition at Cypress
Mountain. Despite successful snowboard cross and half-pipe competitions over
the past two days, the local organizing committee together with the Federation
Internationale de Ski (FIS) has cancelled today's (Sunday, February 15th)
event - the men's and ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS) - due to unsuitable
competition terrain resulting from a combination of factors including mild
weather and limited time to prepare the course both in advance of the event
and in between the last two events. Spectators with $10 tickets for today's
event can return to the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre for a full refund.
    "We're pleased to have been able to stage three highly successful days of
full competition, and feedback from all participants on the field of play has
been positive." said Tim Gayda, VANOC vice president, sport. "Our hill prep
crews have been working 24/7 to ensure a successful week of training and
competition - our hats are off to them for an outstanding job. Cancelling the
PGS is due to a few factors, including that we had limited time in advance of
the event to prepare the terrain, and a shorter conversion time than at
Games-time to alter the terrain from snowboard cross to PGS. This, combined
with mild weather has resulted in a field of play with snow that is simply too
soft to sustain a World Cup PGS competition today. This will not happen next
year for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games as we'll be on the mountain much sooner
with significantly more time to prepare the competition hills and we will have
twice as much time between these two events to convert the course. On behalf
of everyone who worked on this event, we share the disappointment of the
athletes who were ready to showcase their sport and the spectators who were
looking forward to attending."
    "Vancouver has been a spectacular host to the snowboard athletes for the
past several days and we are fully satisfied with this venue for the 2010
Winter Games." said Marcel Looze, snowboard race director with FIS. "While
it's always disappointing to cancel an event, it's the right decision in these
unique circumstances and we look forward to seeing everyone at the PGS
snowboard competition at Cypress Mountain in 2010."
    Testing for VANOC at Cypress Mountain over the last two weeks of two
separate sport events - freestyle and snowboard - included timelines for
building and designing, as well as grooming and maintenance of the competition
courses. The key learnings at the end of the two weeks of competitions include
confirmation of the need for early access to the competition terrain allowing
adequate time to create a stronger base that can be maintained in the event of
mild weather conditions.

    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: Mary Fraser, VANOC
Communications, (778) 231-5739,

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