The Council of Tourism Associations of British Columbia has unanimously endorsed the Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics. "The regional and provincial transportation enhancements that would result from hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games would help ensure an enduring legacy of SuperNatural experiences for all the visitors to our province," COTA President Kevin Walker said following the association’s recent annual general meeting. "The Olympic Winter Games hosted in British Columbia will be an international tourism platform providing significant benefit to our province," Arthur Griffiths, chair of the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Society, said in a release. "COTA recognizes the long term advantages associated with hosting the Games and their support is important to our success." Among the groups spearheading the Vancouver-Whistler bid is Tourism Vancouver. In addition to boosting tourism across B.C., one of the legacies of a successful Olympic bid is an improved transportation network. Last week the provincial government announced Bombardier’s Sky Train had been chosen to provide an east-west rapid transit system in the Lower Mainland. At the same time the province announced that a north-south Sky Train route would also be built, connecting Vancouver International Airport and Richmond with downtown Vancouver, in time for the 2010 Games. Significant details on funding for all new Sky Train routes has yet to be finalized. Representatives of the Canadian Olympic Association will inspect the event sites proposed by Vancouver and Whistler in August. In November the COA will choose either Vancouver-Whistler, Calgary or Quebec City as Canada’s representative to bid for the 2010 Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee will award the 2010 Games in 2003. If he Vancouver-Whistler wins the COA’s approval two events that the IOC will be watching are the 2001 World Figure Skating Championships, which Vancouver was recently awarded, and the 2001 World Freestyle Championships, which will be held at Blackcomb.