From skiing to bobsleigh rides to museum exhibits, Whistler’s 2010 glory lives on
By LUCAS AYKROYD
It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Whistler served as the official mountain resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, co-hosting with Vancouver. With the 2018 Olympics taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, now is an ideal time to explore all the Olympic-related activities and sights in Whistler.
Whistler Blackcomb ranks among North America’s top-ranked ski resorts, and the Dave Murray Downhill holds a special place in Winter Games history. This epic 3.1-km- (1.9-mi-) long run featured downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super-combined and super G races in 2010. Zipping down Whistler Mountain, you can emulate the golden heroics of Bode Miller and Maria Höfl-Riesch. Ready for a break? Grab a soup, sandwich or salad at the Roundhouse Lodge and view the Olympic Legacy display, including everything from Swiss gold medalist Didier Défago’s skis to a replica medal podium.
In the forested Callaghan Valley, Whistler Olympic Park was home to 2010’s Nordic events. Now, you can ski on the park’s nearly 90 km (56 mi) of groomed cross-country trails or take biathlon lessons. Kids love to whoosh downhill on a classic toboggan or aerodynamic baseboard. Admire First Nations art, buy Olympic Park merchandise, and fuel up at the Day Lodge’s restaurant.
For a more adrenalized outing, the Whistler Sliding Centre offers bobsleigh rides on the 2010 Olympic track—still the world’s fastest. Driven by a trained pilot, you’ll hit speeds of up to 125 km/h (77 mi/h) and experience up to 4 Gs. Prefer to fly solo and head-first? This is the only place in Canada where you can do a skeleton run. After a safety briefing, you’ll zoom around six track corners, discovering why they call this “Lightning on Ice.”
Back in the Village, Whistler Olympic Plaza, graced by huge Olympic rings, remains a perfect place to relax. Build a snowman, go skating on the outdoor rink, or pop into the adjacent, 1997-founded BrewHouse to sip a Five Rings IPA or other tasty craft beers.
To keep rekindling your Olympic fever in nearby Vancouver, photograph the surreal Olympic Cauldron at the waterfront Jack Poole Plaza. Catch a Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena, where Sidney Crosby scored Canada’s 2010 overtime winner. Both the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX) burgeon with Winter Games memorabilia and fun, interactive experiences like simulated ski jumping.
Time marches on, but the legacy of our 2010 Olympic Winter Games still shines as brightly as a gold medal.