As the 2010 Winter Olympic Games creep closer, the Comox Valley’s Spirit of B.C. Community Committee continues to attract international teams to Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s world-class facilities. The Committee’s mandate is to attract such teams to train in the Region.
The Swedish National Team has indicated they want to use Mount Washington’s Nordic Facilities in 2010, said Len Apedaile of the Strathcona Nordics. Apedaile was the Project Manager in the bid to bring the International Paralympic Committee’s World Cup Race to the Resort last winter. He is also a member of the Spirit Committee.
The Swedes were at Mount Washington last fall to scope out the terrain. “They hoped to come with the team this summer but they changed coaches so held off,” Apedaile said. “The new coaches are coming in January to see how it looks in the wintertime.”
The Norwegian Biathlon Team visited in late October, he added. They were already committed to training at Silver Star this year.
“With our exposure to the teams during the IPC Event, on the IPC side there’s good potential during 2010 when the Olympics are going on that we could see a number of Paralympic teams coming here and acclimatizing,” Apedaile said.
The Stadium and Biathlon areas near Raven Lodge have just been installed with lighting, as well as two kilometres of trails (and the sprint loop). The lights were installed as part of the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society’s legacy from the World Cup. “Having the lights up there is going to make a big difference,” Apedaile said. “It’s interesting because the general layout and finishing turn into our stadium, there’s a lot of similarities to the course in Callaghan Valley”
In addition to attracting international teams to Raven Lodge, Community Committee Chair Susan Kelsey is also pursuing the 2010 Torch Relay to ensure the Comox Valley is one of the stops on the tour. The Olympic Torch last came through the Valley in 1988, on its way to the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.