A snapshot of the website used for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The official Whistler website of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games


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Whistler Creekside

The stars of the alpine universe are set to converge on Whistler Mountain, the venue for the men's and women's alpine skiing events during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Would you believe the ski resort itself was created for the Olympic Games? Franz Wilhelmson, the man who opened Whistler for skiing in the 1960s, did so in the hopes of hosting the Olympic Games. More than 50 years later, that dream has become a reality.

There's a good chance records will be broken at the Whistler Creekside venue in 2010. It is located above the Creekside base area southwest of Whistler Village and boasts some of the fastest terrain in North America. And with local hopefuls in the running for medals, this venue will be closely watched by Whistlerites.

All of the alpine skiing events will take place at Whistler Creekside including Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Combined. The Men's events will be hosted entirely on the Dave Murray Downhill, widely considered one of the top three courses in the world.

The Women's and Paralympic Alpine course will begin on Wild Card, swing over to Lower Jimmie's Joker, and wind its way down a portion to Franz's to finally join up with the Men's course on the Lower Dave Murray Downhill.

In alpine skiing, racers can reach speeds of more than 130 kilometres an hour, travelling down a vertical drop that would make your legs shake. So be prepared to be amazed in 2010.

World Cup

International competition is nothing new to Whistler. In fact, some of the best alpine skiers in history have risen from the slopes of Whistler Mountain.

Crazy Canucks Dave Murray and Steve Podborski got their start in Whistler before bursting onto the European ski circuit in the 1970s with daring wins that won them their reputation as the "Crazy Canucks." From 1980 to 1982, Podborski reached the podium 19 times in 20 straight races.

Dave Murray is often credited with igniting Whistler's ongoing passion for alpine ski racing. Murray earned three podium finishes including two second place finishes behind Crazy Canuck Ken Read. After retiring from competition, Murray founded the Dave Murray Ski School in Whistler. It has since become one of the most renowned ski schools in Canada, attracting visitors from across the nation. In honour of his contribution to ski racing and the Whistler community, the downhill course at Whistler was the Dave Murray Downhill, which will now see Olympic competition in 2010.

In the past, Whistler was a staple on the World Cup circuit. But it wasn't until the late-80s that balls-to-the-wall Whistler local and downhiller Rob Boyd stepped into the history books. Boyd, a.k.a "Kid Canada" spent 12 years on the national team, posting 29 Top 10 finishes, including two more World Cup downhill wins.

The most memorable win was in Whistler in 1989, where Boyd made history as the first Canadian male to win a downhill in Canada. It remains as one of the most exciting and electric two minutes Whistler has ever seen.

After a 10 year absence, World Cup competition returned to Whistler in 2008. They were the first successful World Cup races at the resort since 1995. Prior to that, the ski federation abandoned Whistler as a World Cup stop in 1998 after three consecutive years of races being cancelled due to adverse snow and weather conditions. But in 2008, the weather was great and international competition is back.

From ski hill to Olympic venue

To get ready for the 2010 Winter Games, work included adding extra width to the existing men's course to meet modern specifications, the creation of a new ladies course on Franz's Run, doubling the snowmaking capacity, and doubling the width of the finish corral to meet Olympic needs. Venue improvements started in summer 2006 and were completed in the fall of 2007 - giving athletes plenty of time to train on the Olympic course.

During Games time, the entire Creekside base will be transformed to accommodate facilities such as wax cabins, athletes lounge and security check posts. VANOC also installed a temporary chairlift at Creekside to carry spectators, athletes and officials from the base area to the Timing Flats. In all, this venue will be prepared to host a capacity crowd of 7,600 people.

Improvements to Whistler Creekside were also done as sustainably as possible. In fact, even the frogs were considered.

Plans for the venue were altered early on in the construction stage because of a tiny, vulnerable frog. The coastal tailed frog, which grows to no more than three centimetres with a 20-year life span, live in Boyd's Creek, which is adjacent to the alpine course.

Portions of the ski course were diverted and a plan to collect and relocate the frogs and tadpoles was put into action. Where in-stream frog habitat disturbance was unavoidable, organizers moved the frogs and tadpoles by hand, relocating them 40-metres upstream.

"I'd worked on that mountain for many years and didn't realize that they even existed," says Rod MacLeod, manager of the $26-million Whistler Creekside project.

MacLeod says the welfare of the little frogs was a priority early in the project's planning when every possible environmental effect was studied.

There are several other environmental initiatives associated with the venue:

  • use of existing ski hill infrastructure
  • all wood waste chipped and re-used onsite
  • leading edge high energy-efficient snowmaking system for racecourses
  • significant reductions achieved in the total amount of riparian vegetation removed for the training and race courses compared to the amount proposed/approved for clearing in the initial design plans and Environmental Assessment approval


Don't be fooled into thinking that the ski area on the mountains will be closed or too crowded during an Olympic year. In fact, there will be no better time to ski or snowboard.

Whistler Blackcomb terrain will be fully open for the majority of the 2009-2010 winter season. During the Olympic and Paralympic period, which begins January 25 for course set up, more than 90 per cent of terrain will remain open with only the runs in the area of the race course on Whistler Mountain and training runs on both mountains closed.

Dave Murray Downhill and Franz's Run will be closed to the public from January 25 to March 27, 210. The Creekside Gondola will be closed to the public during the month of February 2010 but will be open to the public during the Paralympic Winter Games, with priority access given to Paralympic athletes, officials and workforce.

Post-Games Use

Upon completion of the Games, the site will be decommissioned as an Olympic and Paralympic venue. The temporary structures will be removed, but all other improvements and infrastructure will remain in place as a Games legacy. Changes to the trails are considered positive and advantageous for ongoing operations of Whistler Blackcomb, providing enhanced training, racing, and recreational ski opportunities

In This Section

Up Level


Whistler Mountain Run Closures
(January 25 to March 27)

Dave Murray Downhill (race course)
Wild Card (race course)
Jimmy's Joker (race course)
Upper Franz's (above the skier's tunnel - race course)

Whistler Mountain Run Closures
(January 30 to March 27)

Bear Paw

Other Whistler Mountain Run Closures
Bear Cub (Feb 1 to Feb 28)
Raven/Ptarmigan (Feb 1 to Feb 21)
Upper Whisky Jack (Feb 1 to Feb 17)
Crabapple (Feb 1 to Feb 17)

Blackcomb Mountain Training Run Closures (Jan 29 to Feb 28)
Lower Cruiser


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