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Lessons learned on the slopes

World Cup test events a success for Olympic organizers

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“They are accurate and there is nothing more important to us right now than an accurate forecast,” said Gayda.

Recently at the World Cup freestyle event on Cypress Mountain the forecasters were able to predict a much needed break in the soggy weather.

“They nailed it to a tee about when the fog would turn into snow, and when the snow would turn into blue sky, and that is how they got the aerial (qualifier) off,” said Gayda.

Overall, VANOC and Whistler-Blackcomb considered the World Cup event a success.

Rempel, a self-designated one-man research team during the Cup, said guests, athletes, officials, media and staff were all excited by the event.

“I asked lots of coaches and racers and officials and the press and it just kept coming back that, wow, people are friendly here,” said Rempel, adding that the media coverage reached millions of people in Europe – a market that Whistler has missed as it has not hosted a World Cup since 1995.

“This was a significant media opportunity for Whistler in Europe, having not hosted World Cup for some time,” he said.

“We reached millions of people in Europe with a really great Whistler and British Columbia message about what a great place this is.”

And the media was not just focused on the event, said Rempel. Many asked about the plans for the Peak-to-Peak Gondola and other Whistler related stories.

“What we need to do is take advantage of these media opportunities to tell the world about how great this place is and how great British Columbia is for tourism,” he said.

“We want to hold the Games and host the world here, but at the end of the day the Games is the greatest opportunity to promote tourism in British Columbia that we will ever, ever have.”

This week also saw the first of two visits this year by the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission to Vancouver and Whistler.

While in town the Commission will see the physical progress made on venues, meet with provincial politicians, and undertake an in-depth review of VANOC’s sport, marketing and media services planning to date.

IOC president Jacques Rogge also spoke at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s luncheon Wednesday.

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