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The Year in Sports

From high fives to the World Cup podium

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You’d think it would be hard to fill six or seven pages every week with sports stories in a town of 10,000, but if anything there’s usually too much going on to report everything.

During the winter, Whistler-Blackcomb hosts the Kokanee Valley Race Series, the Masters Race Series, the Park Rider Sessions, the King of the Rail contests, and numerous one-off competitions like the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, the Peak to Valley race, the Showcase Showdown, and the Backcountry Jam. The Whistler Nordics host 10 Twoonie Races and the Whistler Loppet, and Cross Country Connection runs the annual Lost Lake Shuffle. We have three hockey leagues, a squash league, and weekly drop-in sports nights for everything from indoor soccer to volleyball to dodgeball. Local kids have more choices than ever with hockey (more rep teams than ever), gymnastics, competitive dance, figure skating, volleyball, basketball, ski racing, snowboarding and more.

Summer is even busier, with 22 cross-country races and six downhill races hosted by the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association, weekly rides hosted by Wild Willies, and one-time cycling events like the Ken Quon Memorial Ride, the West Side Wheel Up, the new Soo Valley Rumble, the Cheakamus Challenge, Crankworx, and Red Bull Elevation. The Whistler Tri Club hosts a Kids of Steel triathlon the past two summers, and last year held a beginner triathlon for adults.

If you’re into running, you had your choice of the weekly trail running clinics and monthly hash runs hosted by Escape Route, the Comfortably Numb Trail Run, the Whistler Valley Trail Run, the 5 Peaks Trail Run, and the Terry Fox Run.

Then there’s Slo-Pitch (six leagues this year), the soccer league and rep teams, the Hoary Marmots rugby team, the newly re-launched Whistler Outdoor Volleyball Association, the drop-in ultimate games, house league tennis tournaments, and the list goes on. You could literally be doing something active every day of the week if you had the time and energy.

At the end of every year I pick a few highlights from the previous season — a sampling, because there’s too much to cover everything. Here’s 2007:

January

Jan. 1 — The Squamish Test of Metal sells out in a record 48 minutes, compared to four hours and 19 minutes in 2006, and five days in 2005. Spots for 2008 go on sale at 6 p.m. sharp!

Jan. 1 — A new federal tax law allows parents to deduct up to $500 per child for sports costs. Hope you kept your receipts.

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