Canada's bobsleigh and skeleton athletes could use a little extra push to kick off BMW IBSF World Cup celebrations in the resort.
Meet and greet festivities with Canadian athletes are slated for Monday, Jan. 18 and Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Whistler Olympic Plaza. As well, on Jan. 20 and 21 from 4 to 6 p.m., there will be an animated screen and attendees will have a chance to win tickets to the events, which will take place Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23. The races will feature roughly 100 athletes from 18 countries including two-time Olympic gold medallist bobsledder Kaillie Humphries and North Vancouver skeleton athlete Jane Channell.
As well, those looking to get a sneak peek at the action will have the chance to do so from Tuesday through Thursday this week. On Jan. 19, bobsleigh training will run from 9 a.m. until noon and skeleton training will go from 3 to 6 p.m. On Jan. 20, skeleton athletes will hit the course from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the bobsleighs will ride from 3 to 6 p.m. The final day of training, on Jan. 21, will see two sessions for each discipline. Skeleton athletes will train from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and noon until 1:30 p.m. and the bobsleigh competitors will go from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend training.
Tickets to the races themselves are $10 per day and can be purchased online at www.whistlersportlegacies.com or at the Whistler Sliding Centre at its guest services building or at the track entrance ticket booth. Children 12 and under are admitted at no charge.
Racing begins at 2 p.m. on Jan. 22 with the women's skeleton race while the two-man bobsleigh begins at 6 p.m. On Jan. 23, the men's skeleton competition begins at 10 a.m., the two-woman bobsleigh will run at 2 p.m. and the two-man bobsleigh will run a second race at 6 p.m.
Spectators can park in Lots 6, 7 and 8, which are within walking distance to the Whistler Sliding Centre, or in Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and take the Excalibur gondola up to the track. Admission to the gondola is free if spectators are not dressed for skiing.
At the venue, food offerings include the Schnitzel Shack and Sugar Momma Pastries while beverages available will be Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate and beer, cider and mulled wine at the Gibbons Life beer garden. There will also be fireworks at the conclusion of racing on both days.