Sports » Features

The year in sports



It’s been said a thousand times in a thousand different ways, but there really is no place like Whistler. And one of the things that sets us apart is our passion for our sports.

From World Cup events to weekly Loonie Races to massive games of shinny on our frozen lakes, there is always something going on. The spirit of competition is alive and well, as is the larger spirit of sportsmanship – you don’t have to be good to play, you just have to love it.

We are home to professional and amateur athletes that compete at the local, national and international level. We are also the home of champions. Some of them came here for the mountains, while others grew up in Whistler surrounded by excellence.

The local sporting scene is intense, and we have leagues and clubs for almost any sport you can mention. Our ski and snowboard clubs are sending athletes to the national team. WORCA, the local mountain bike club, had more than a thousand members last season, which would probably make it the largest club of its kind in the world.

Through these groups and the hard work of committed individuals, there are sporting events in town almost every weekend. Our love for competitions has made us a stop on various tours and circuits.

At home or away, it is our athletes who best define Whistler – a playground on an epic scale for the young and young at heart.

Here are some of the highlights from 2002.


January was a tough month for many athletes as it was their last chance to qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City. A number of Whistler athletes were on the cusp. In snowboarding, Darren Chalmers, Mike Michalchuk, Trevor Andrew and Dave Melancon were among the five athletes in contention for three spots. The women also had one spot available, which could have gone to Whistler riders Dominique Vallée, Lori Glazier or Maelle Ricker. The spot never materialized.

Whistler’s Britt Janyk was one top-12 finish away from making the cut in the giant slalom, and Genevieve Simard needed a top-13 in the super-G for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

Jan. 11 – Whistler skiers all but sweep the Canadian Freeskiing Championships. The win in the men’s competition went to Pierre-Yves LeBlanc, and second went to Hugo Harrison, who went on to win his second consecutive International Freeskiers Association title. Mike Stevenson was fourth, and Robin Courcelles, Jon Johnston Leif Zapf-Gilje were seventh, 11 th and 15 th respectively. In the women’s competition, the title went to Whistler’s Jenn Ashton. Aleisha Cline, who is currently on top in the World Cup Skier Cross circuit, was fourth.