With only 10 days to the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the backdrop of a record snowfall and the blessing of international ski officials, the finishing touches are being applied over the next days to the Olympic alpine ski racing venue in Whistler Blackcomb. The host venue for the men's and women's alpine skiing competitions is Games-ready with an unprecedented 10.2 metres of snow. Deep snow at Whistler Blackcomb is not unusual, but reaching the average annual snowfall (10.13 metres/ 33 feet) this early is truly unique. Since snow reporting began in the 1979/80 season, this is the first time that Whistler Blackcomb has received this much snow by the end of January. The prior record was set in 2006/07 when 945 centimetres or 31 feet of snow fell by January 31.
"International Olympic Committee delegates recently skied the course and were very pleased with the results", says Tim Gayda, Vice President of Sport, VANOC. "From the beginning of the season, VANOC and Whistler Blackcomb crews have worked hard together to prepare the courses to create a very dense base of snow that involved a massive snowmaking effort. Add to that the incredible amount of natural snow that has fallen in Whistler this season, and we're now ready to deliver an Olympic-class alpine skiing venue that will live up to the reputation that the renowned Dave Murray Downhill course holds the world over. We look forward to debuting the spectacular new woman's course on Franz's Run. VANOC has now taken over the Men's and Women's courses entirely from Whistler Blackcomb ski operations and we're in to the home stretch on our final preparations".