When watching the Olympics in Beijing, specifically the mountain bike race, I was amazed to see spectators lined up along the course cheering the competitors, dashing by only centimetres away and separated only by a flimsy ribbon. And this with all the reports of overwhelming security and police presence at the Games.
Contrast this with the spectator access at the alpine ski events in Whistler in 2010, judging by this winter’s World Ski Cup races in Whistler. Venues were cordoned off hundreds of metres from the course and there were only two or three places on the mountain for spectators to watch along the course. I know that there was a lot of complaints about that, but if VANOC does not plan to open the access along the complete trail, they should maybe inform the public, and specifically all the spectators from Europe, not to bother coming, since there will only be 7,000 places to watch at the finish line, and you can watch TV just as well in Germany as in Whistler.
I watched alpine races at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck and at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. In addition, I watched many World Cup races in Kitzbuhel, St. Anton, St. Moritz, Schladming and Kranjska Gora, and everywhere the spectators access was and is available along the race course.
This year it was the first time that I witnessed such closed and spectator-unfriendly races.
With the recent developments at Whistler Creek, the Creekside Gondola should definitely be more crowded. I hear there are plans to add another gondola to the base but rumor has it, this new gondola will service only the ultra-rich Kadenwood property owners. Additionally, this proposed lift appears to hog all remaining lift space at Creekside.... I can only imagine walking up and seeing a lineup going over the bridge and then looking at the exclusive Kadenwood lift sitting empty.
I suggest when Whistler Mountain opens the Kadenwood Gondola they open it up for everyone and then add a higher, secondary lift accessing the Peak to Creek zone. If you really want to sell some Kadenwood real estate, don't you think your targeted buyer would prefer getting a head start and upload on the second lift instead of downloading into a crowded base?
The orange stakes marking the Kadenwood lift are in — check ’em out.
Confused and saddened
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. I am confused and deeply saddened by current events in Whistler. When the Olympics were announced for Whistler I was thrilled that we could showcase the stunning beauty of our gorgeous mountain town. It was not a surprise to me when it was announced that these Games could be the green games. After all, this is B.C., tree hugging, hippy loving beautiful B.C.