By Andrew Mitchell
After Whistler hosted the FIS Snowboard World Championships in
2005, wrapping up a decade of hosting World Cup events, there won’t be a World
Cup snowboard event anywhere in B.C. this winter.
This spring Whistler was forced to give up its World Cup
snowboardcross and halfpipe events when future North American World Cup events
were bumped back to later in the season to coincide with the 2010 Olympics
—rescheduling to March was not an option with the resort already at
capacity during peak tourism season.
Big White offered to pick up the slack, but according to the
Vancouver Sun they were forced to back out when $2 million needed for in
improvements to snowmaking and facilities couldn’t be found. Organizers at the
resort had planned to build the first permanent snowboardcross course in the
world, and to upgrade their halfpipe to the highest international standards.
Snowmaking is also a requirement of the Federation
Internationale de Ski, the international body that oversees the World Cup
Big White is laying the blame at the feet of the Canadian
Snowboard Federation, which said it would come up with the money for the
improvements. For their part, the CSF acknowledged they never had the money
themselves but instead worked to secure funding from federal and provincial
facilities. Their requests were denied, as most of the money for recreational
projects is allocated to local governments, and not to private resorts or
national sports organizations — even though the centre would have been
dedicated to training the national team.
The CSF is still planning a World Cup halfpipe contest for Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, the details of which are still being finalized, and World Cup events in Quebec will go on as usual.