Pride in our elephant
While Mr. Maxwell is writing about "killing the elephant" of the Whistler Sliding Centre, I would like to suggest that he get up from behind his calculator and wander about the village this week to see the amazing collection of world-class athletes from over 20 countries here for the World Luge Championships (Pique Jan.24). Perhaps he could even engage in a conversation or two and hear them describe how much they really like the Whistler track and their experience of being in Whistler.
As he is worrying about the Whistler Sports Legacies' chequebook, Mr. Maxwell might also consider the world-class exposure that Whistler receives for hosting international sliding events and the fantastic opportunity for training for athletes of all ages. World Cup events at the sliding centre are televised and streamed worldwide allowing thousands of viewers to see our Whistler majesty.
Maybe Mr. Maxwell missed the opportunity to ring his cowbell as Jon Montgomery won gold for Canada at the 2012 Olympics? Maybe he didn't get to feel the pride and excitement as Canadian Kallie Humphries took first place in this year's two-women Bobsleigh World Cup event or as Canada's Lyndon Rush and Sarah Reid medaled as well? Mr. Maxwell might ask these dedicated athletes how they feel about their "absurd, Euro-centric non-sports."
Perhaps the North American sliding events don't have the large following that their European counterparts enjoy, but the Whistler track is an outstanding venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton races at every level. This season the track has successfully hosted World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, North American Cup, BC Cup bobsleigh and skeleton events, and this week the World Luge Championships. The public bobsleigh and skeleton rides offer our Whistler visitors a unique opportunity to experience these sports for their own excitement.
Clearly WSL's new CEO, Roger Soane, has some financial and operational challenges to address, but the track is already built; the investment is made. We can all be proud of our track and our Canadian athletes in all disciplines.
Find yourself another elephant to go after, Max; and while you're at it, find yourself a little more appreciation for the sports of these dedicated athletes!
Thinking beyond the trail
Whistler is a wonderful place to live and Stu Sjolies makes it even more wonderful!
Stu is the mechanic at Nicklaus North Golf Course and under his own initiative has been grooming the service trail along fairways one and two and then the cart paths on fairways 14 and 15 for walkers, dogs and snowshoers. He has designed the groomer that he pulls with his own snowmobile.
He does this so that he and anyone else can walk their dogs on a groomed trail, but not disturb the trails around the golf course that are part of the Lost Lake Trails.