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Whistler keeps on truckin’ in economic meltdown


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What 'disaster'?
I feel compelled to respond to the complaints about the parking "disaster" at the Whistler Olympic Park during the ski jumping event two weekends ago.

I could not be there that weekend, but was at the previous weekend's cross-country events, where parking was not a problem on either day. From the Pooched Loop the courteous, happy parking attendants directed us to walk 30 metres to the waiting clean new bus which then shuttled us up the unblocked road to the turnaround at the beautiful snow sculptures. We were extremely impressed by how smoothly the people moving progressed. The events went very, very well. We were so proud to be Canadian those days in the sun, with perfect conditions, great performances by our own athletes, right in front of us! All the while I was thinking we'll never get a front row seat like this again, and for free.

My only problem with the otherwise absolutely perfect events was the lack of local support. Where was everybody when our own were on the podium, being broadcast around the world to millions who do care?

So there was a better, much better turnout for the jumping. Well, that's a really good thing. I guess the traffic controllers were expecting a lame turnout like the previous weekend. Or maybe they expected more people to use the shuttle busses, which were available from Whistler. Please keep in mind that a lot of these people are volunteers, doing what they do because they have a belief and passion for the Nordic Sports.

Not to worry about next year, as this is the year to iron out all the glitches, but the parking is not one of them, as the almost 4 km Pooched Loop itself will be the main parking for the busses-only traffic during the Olympics.

They could have used it this year, but with such embarrassingly poor turnout to previous events, and such high demand for the loop to be groomed for skiing, you have your answer.

Hopefully, after all the "mayhem" you experienced, you will take another look at the maps, which are plentiful, and go out for an uncrowded ski on any day of the week, stop and listen to the silence deep in the forest, as your pounding heart slows, and feel as if you're almost too far from home....Then return to the beautiful day lodge and realize what the true legacy will be. We are so fortunate to have all this. And it's all "free" this year only.

I hope there will be bigger crowds of shuttlers or carpoolers  for the action-packed biathlon events coming soon, all for free in your own back yard.

Lisa Taylor