Events Start at Whistler Olympic Paralympic Park to Test for 2010 Winter Games

Published: 2009/01/13 - Updated: 2016/03/26
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Vancouver Organizing Committee for 2010 Olympic Paralympic Winter Games will begin testing its operational readiness at Whistler Olympic Paralympic Park.


First three of 16 Sport Events in 2009 start this week at Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park; VANOC to test operational readiness for 2010 Winter Games

Main Digest

Millions of European Nordic sport fans expected to tune in daily

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will begin testing its operational readiness at international Sport Events beginning this Friday at Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park with cross-country skiing (January 16-18), Nordic combined (January 16-17) and ski jumping (January 23-25).

The World Cup competitions are part of the International Ski Federation's (FIS) 2008-09 season and will feature Vancouver 2010 Olympic medal hopefuls, representing a total of 21 countries. Eleven Nordic combined teams totaling about 50 athletes and 47 support staff as well as 17 cross-country teams totaling about 230 athletes started arriving last week. Close to 50 athletes and 30 support staff will also be on hand for ski jumping. Official training for cross-country and Nordic combined begins on Wednesday.

These Sport Events provide VANOC the opportunity to test Games-time operations and train potential 2010 volunteers. Spectators will have the chance to experience Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park and learn more about some of Europe's most popular winter sports that are guaranteed to thrill in 2010. In Europe alone, an estimated 15 million to 20 million viewers are expected to tune in daily to the events.

"This is a big year for us, coming right out of the gate with three Sport Events that will provide an invaluable opportunity to test our management teams and numerous Games-time operations," said Tim Gayda, VANOC's vice-president, sport. "We're working closely with the International Ski Federation, Cross Country Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada and Ski Jumping Canada to produce three world-class events for athletes and spectators."

The trio of Sport Events opens with the cross-country men's and women's pursuit and the Nordic combined large hill/10-kilometer cross-country competition. Chandra Crawford, the 2006 Olympic cross-country skiing sprint gold medalist, will lead the Canadian team.

"We don't often get the opportunity to compete in front of our home crowd," said Crawford. "This is going to be a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic sport and world-class athletes, and I look forward to the strong contingent of fans from Whistler and Vancouver cheering us on with every stride."

VANOC's testing will focus primarily on two areas: athletes' competition areas (the field of play), and overall venue operations including athlete arrivals/departures, training, and competition and workforce operations.

Field of Play

Grooming and hill preparation will be tested at the large ski jump area. Wind conditions will be examined, as well as flexibility to adjust to the weather conditions. The cross-country skiing competition course will test the grooming and technical standard of preparations, snow clearing procedures, awards presentations, and athlete and team service levels.

Press Operations

VANOC's Press Operations team will run the Venue Media Center, manage photo positions, test media access control processes and operate the athlete mixed zone where accredited media gather to interview athletes. Over 160 local, national and international media have been accredited for the events.

Timing and Scoring

Timing and scoring will be run to corroborate results. VANOC will test the speed and dissemination of competition results to appropriate functions along with the integrity of the technology and staffing in place.

Medical Services

The Medical Services team will replicate Games-time field-of-play medical service levels with medical personnel ski patrollers as first responders. Staff will include a VANOC medical manager, two physicians per event, one ski patrol supervisor, 10 ski patrollers for the cross-country skiing and Nordic combined World Cup competitions and two ski patrollers for the ski jumping World Cup competition.


Under the direction and authority of the FIS, VANOC Anti-Doping personnel will conduct doping controls, including the collection of both urine and blood samples. VANOC will also work with the FIS to showcase its athlete outreach booth designed to educate and inform athletes about anti-doping rules and procedures.

Venue Operations


The VANOC Venue Management team will test internal radio/walkie-talkie communication systems, using over 20 different channels operating simultaneously on more than 250 radios carried by workforce.


About 700 volunteers, contractors and staff will participate in the Nordic festival events. The majority are technical sport volunteers (approximately 450), with other groups including spectator services, food and beverage services, snow clearing and cleaning, ski patrollers, sport production (such as announcers, DJs, video screen operators), transport and parking staff, and VIP services.

The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, FIS Cross-Country World Cup and FIS Ski Jumping World Cup are the first Sport Events of the 2009 season. The first Sport Event was the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup held last February at Whistler Creekside.


For more information on the Nordic World Cups this month, visit

For more information on the remaining Sport Events taking place from February to September 2009, including how to purchase tickets, visit

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