2010 Winter Games Legacies

2010 Winter Games Legacies

The 2010 Winter Games leave a lasting mark on Whistler in the form of new sports venues, facilities and housing for locals. These legacies serve as reminders of the Games, enrich Whistler's vibrant community, and significantly enhance the resort's tourist experience.

Sporting Legacies

Post-Games, the operation of Whistler's newest sporting facilities has been placed in the hands of Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies - a not-for-profit business that will own and operate three 2010 Winter Games facilities post-Games - the Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park and the Whistler Athletes' Centre.

It will be Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies role to preserve the legacy of the 2010 Winter Games by continuing to host national and international sport competitions at the venues, encouraging high-performance sport development, inspiring youth and First Nations involvement, and promoting sports tourism in Whistler and British Columbia. 

Whistler Sliding Centre

The Whistler Sliding Centre, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competition, is located on the lushly forested southeast slope of Blackcomb Mountain, only minutes from Whistler Village. With a 152-metre vertical drop (the greatest of any track in the world) and 16 corners, it is widely acknowledged as the fastest, most technical sliding track in the world.

Year-round visitors can enjoy walking tours of the centre, and commencing fall 2010 new passenger ride programs will be on offer allowing the public to try bobsleigh and skeleton first-hand. The facility also remains operational post Games for athlete training and youth recruitment to the sport - many local school children have already been introduced to the sport and development programs are regularly sold out. http://www.whistlerslidingcentre.com/

Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park

Surrounded by towering peaks, glacial lakes and pristine forest, Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park will take your breath away. Located 18 km (11 miles) south of Whistler in the beautiful Callaghan Valley, the Park opened 55 km (34 miles) of new public Nordic skiing trails groomed for both classic and skating. Opened December 2007 and having already welcomed tens of thousands of recreational skiers, the Park has created a popularity boom in Nordic sport among both locals and visitors. 

Already earning accolades for its superb trails, the Park offers walking tours of the ski jumps, interactive biathlon and Nordic experiences for visitors, as well as a full-service facility with day-lodge, rentals and café. In the summer months, visit Whistler Olympic/ Paralympic Park for mountain biking, hiking, disc golf and walking tours of the facility. http://www.whistlerolympicpark.com/

Whistler Athletes' Centre

Located within the Athletes' Village development (now known as the new Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood), the Whistler Athletes' Centre will become a destination for Canadian and international athletes in training, offering high-performance athletes a permanent training facility near 2010 Winter Games legacy venues. The centre includes a gymnasium, fitness room, low-cost accommodation alternatives, multi-purpose meeting rooms and lecture space. The facility will also accommodate visiting educational and cultural groups.

In addition, the Whistler Adaptive Sport Program (WASP), a non-for-profit society that provides year-round, recreational programs for people of all ages and disabilities, has found a permanent home base with offices and accessible fitness/ training facilities located within the Athletes' Centre.

Community Legacies

Whistler Athletes' Village - new neighbourhood and housing for locals

Possibly the greatest legacy to Whistler's permanent residential community, is the purpose built Athletes' Village. Several adjustments and touch-ups are being conducted on the 220 townhomes, duplexes and condominiums, before the keys are handed over to their eager new owners in summer 2010.

Under the watchful eye of the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) and its employee-restricted housing program, a large percentage of the accommodations were pre-sold in 2008 to Whistler locals on the WHA waitlist. A WHA mandate is to ensure that 75 per cent of Whistler's workforce is housed in the resort. The cost of employee-restricted properties is capped to ensure affordability for resort employees and families. Owning in Whistler is a dream for many Whistler locals, allowing them to continue living the amazing lifestyle that captured their hearts when they first arrived.

The new residential community has been named Cheakamus Crossing after the Cheakamus River that runs alongside the development. Along with the 220 resident-restricted townhomes and units, the mixed-use neighbourhood will also contain an impressive 180-bed youth hostel run by Hostelling International, 55 rental units managed by Whistler Housing Authority, and a high performance training centre (Whistler Athletes' Centre) with athlete accommodations.

Hostelling International Whistler

Whistler Olympic Plaza

In the spring of 2010, the space that served as Whistler Medals Plaza during the Games, will undergo final transformations to become a grassy, public space ideal for picnics, outdoor concerts and performances. The landscaped area will include a children's playground, terraced seating, public art, information plaques, the Olympic Legacy Cauldron and the well-photographed Olympic rings and Paralympic Agitos monuments that resided along Whistler's Village Stroll during the Games. Whistler Olympic Plaza will become a key social gathering place for Whistler and a way to remember how the community welcomed the world in February and March 2010.

Sea to Sky Highway Improvement

Prior to be being awarded the Games, it was identified that the scenic Sea to Sky Highway that links Vancouver with Whistler was in need of major upgrades, due to the continued growth of the resort and residential communities along the corridor. The $600 million improvement project included widening and straightening the highway, improving safety and travel times. Regarded as one of the most beautiful highways in the world, the Sea to Sky Highway takes visitors on a breathtaking two-hour journey of ocean and mountain vistas. The road hugs the dramatic Pacific coastline past rushing waterfalls and mountainous islands, then winds through lush, forested canyons on a gradual climb into the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

Passive House - new clubhouse for Whistler sporting groups

Known as a Passive House because of its unique design which essentially allows it to heat, cool and ventilate itself, this facility was purpose built for the 2010 Winter Games. The house served as the Austrian Olympic Committee headquarters and daily broadcast studio for the Austrian Public Broadcaster ORF. The first passive house in North America, the new facility is a partnership between Austria Passive House Group, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and Sea to Sky Consulting.

Austria Passive House Group has now generously handed this impressive facility over to the Resort Municipality of Whistler - specifically to two popular, well-established sporting groups: the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) and the Whistler Nordics. Providing a club house for social gatherings and events, as well as much needed office and meeting space for these clubs - there is no doubt the Passive House will assist in growing community involvement in these clubs, and the sports of mountain biking and cross country skiing. Ensuring countless Whistler residents will appreciate this special Winter Games legacy for many years to come.  http://www.worca.com/  l http://www.whistlernordics.com/