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However, he added, VANOC and
FIS are considering using snow to create more features on the courses for the
“The vast majority of
athletes were really impressed with the track, that’s the feedback we got
pretty much across the board,” he said.
“We are not going to be
changing anything in terms of the physical contouring of the track, but
obviously they did learn some lessons about where they could put in features on
both men’s and ladies’ tracks and that is something we will be looking at as we
move to 2010.”
Issues also arose around
spectator access to the finish line area and the World Cup course as the
competition got up and running. Early in the week spectators had to hike up a
snowy hill to get to the finish line.
“There were guest concerns
with the lack of access and the fact that you had to walk up the slope,” said
Stuart Rempel, senior vice president of marketing for Whistler-Blackcomb.
By the weekend, bus
transportation was being provided to the finish line for everyone – not just
the media and the VIPs.
Gayda also said that the
uphill hike in and out will not be on snow at Games time, but rather it will on
pavement or on gravel and it’s likely there will be an open-air gondola put in
Whistler-Blackcomb was also
concerned about the lack of on-course viewing, which was due mostly to the
geography of the mountain when both the Men’s and Women’s World Cup races are
running at the same time.
Rempel would like to see more
spectator viewing along the edges.
“I think there was a great
finish-line experience for either the people that did hike up or took the
transportation,” he said.
“But on the mountain the
viewing pods were quite limited. Certainly we would love to see on-mountain
viewing during the Games as long as VANOC security would allow that. We would
really hope to see that come to fruition during the actual Games.”
Said Gayda: “From the
Federation, to the athletes, to us, everyone wants to see people up there.”
During the Games period,
which runs from Feb. 12-28, VANOC also worked with Environment Canada weather
experts to practice forecasting for the Olympics.