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Whistler Olympic Park set to open for summer

Disc golf, new e-bikes among fresh options

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Whistler Olympic Park is getting set to open for the summer season this Friday, June 29, and will have a number of new activities for visitors to check out.

At the top of the list is a brand-new disc golf course, which park managing director Tim Hope is excited to see open.

Hope noted the course will begin near the biathlon range, a hub of the park's summer activities, taking players around the cross-country trails.

"People are excited and we're excited to have it," he said. "There are some large cedars out there and it's just a beautiful setting. Some of the vistas that you see from the course and some of the holes are amazing."

Hope said hosting a disc-golf course has been considered in prior years, but the opportunity to build it came about this year.

"This distance is comparable to the other (local) courses. It's intended for that family experience as opposed to the core disc golfer. They are a discerning group that's looking for specifics. We'll adjust and adapt as we learn more and we speak with our users to see how we can enhance that experience," he said.

Another new option is an expansion to the hiking trail network, which includes the chance for visitors to traverse the large ski jump's staircase, which gives them the opportunity to appreciate the athletes who scale the hill at events like the Red Bull 400.

"It's a fantastic way to see the vista of the valley when you're up there," Hope said. "It really puts it in perspective what the athletes are doing. It's a substantial structure from a distance, but when you're up on it, it's even more impressive.

"We want to give people the opportunity to challenge themselves to hike up those stairs."

Those looking to get around a little more quickly can check out a brand-new fleet of 16 electric-assist bicycles. Hope noted, with the rapidly progressing technology, users should notice a difference over the previous options.

"They're a plus-sized-tire bike. In the past, we'd had a fat-tire bike with a fully rigid frame. Here, we've upgraded to a front suspension with a rigid rear. It's the latest Bosch and Shimano technology and we're really excited about it," Hope said. "There will be improved handling for the trails and a more comfortable ride with that suspension element."

Hope added that since the designated biking areas are primarily gravel roads, it's a way to e-bike that is friendly to both the user and to the environment.

The bikes cost $30 to rent for two hours.

In addition to the new options, established activities like summer biathlon remain on offer.

Park entry is $10 per carload, and each car will receive a $5 credit to use for summer activities.

The park will be open daily until Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Also in the Whistler Sport Legacies family, summer bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre will kick off on June 29. For every paying adult, a young person aged 12 to 18 can ride for free, and any additional youth is admitted for 50-per-cent off the adult fee of $109.

Speeds can reach up to 90 km/hr.

For more information, check out www.whistlersportlegacies.com.

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