In the face of the biggest winter event in the world, Whistler Blackcomb has made a commitment to ensure that all the other events that make Whistler so fun for skiers and riders keep happening.
There will be a few changes, like fewer Kokanee Valley Race Series races and King of the Rails contests, and a few dates have been moved around to accommodate the Games, but for the most part Whistler Blackcomb's calendar should be comforting for locals and visitors who compete for the thrill of it.
"These (skiers and snowboarders) are the backbone for us, and for us to say 'Sorry, we're too busy to do events for you guys' was not going to happen," said Cate Webster of the Whistler Blackcomb events department. "There are some changes that were necessary to accommodate the Games, basically the entire month of February is blocked off and our staff all have jobs with the Games for that month, but before and after it will be pretty much business as usual, with a few changes here and there."
Event sponsors have also come on board as usual, including names like Kokanee, Telus, Coke, Nintendo, Atomic, Sapient and many more.
Kokanee Valley Race Series
The long running and always popular Kokanee Valley Race Series is full speed ahead for this season but with over a month tied up with the Olympics organizers have been forced to condense the number of events from eight to six.
The first event is a giant slalom on Thursday, Dec. 17, followed by events on Jan. 7, 14, 21 and further down the road on March 11 and 18 - the final event being the dual giant slalom and team relay event. Almost all events are GS races this year - there will be no slaloms and only one super G, on Jan. 21.
The price to participate is $30 per race, although you can save $4 by pre-registering at Guest Relations more than a day before the event. You can also pay $126 for a series pass, which works out to $21 per event.
Once again there will be a draw prize for a pair of Atomic skis at every event, and other prizes donated by sponsors and Whistler Blackcomb.
Park Rider Sessions
The Park Rider Sessions, presented by Telus, has five events on the calendar this year - the same number as other years. Usually the contests take place once a month but this year the events team has added a race to the Christmas holidays to make up for the event that will be missed in February.