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Construction teams celebrate completion of Whistler Olympic and Paralympic venues

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by Richard Gilbert

Construction on all three Whistler Olympic and Paralympic competition venues has been completed on time and on budget.

Vancouver 2010

Construction on all three Whistler Olympic and Paralympic competition venues has been completed on time and on budget.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) announced on December 12, 2007 that construction is complete at the Whistler Creekside, Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Olympic Park. Creekside has been operational since the beginning of the 2007-2008 ski season. Whistler Olympic Park, which was open for public access on Dec. 15, is available for both high-performance athlete training and recreational use. The detailed fit-out and testing at The Whistler Sliding Centre will continue over the next few months.

The completion of these venues allows VANOC to follow through on a promise to offer athletes the chance to train and compete at these venues more than two years in advance of the Games.

“Every construction worker and member of our venue team put their hearts into this project and is standing atop their own podium today,” said John Furlong, VANOC chief executive officer. “Their efforts are helping us to meet our commitment to deliver spectacular theatres for sport and lasting community legacies.”

Justin Lessard, a quality control supervisor for Concrete USL (1983) Ltd., worked on the construction of the sliding track at The Whistler Sliding Centre. He worked closely with a core crew of about 60 workers, who specialize in pressurized concrete spraying. The application is called shockcrete.

“I gave everything for that project because it’s something that represents our country, and a lot of my guys that worked with me, they really put their heart and souls into this job,” Lessard said.

Blaine Brennan, a construction superintendent for Resource Business Ventures (RBV), worked on the 2010 Winter Games Nordic ski and biathlon venue. RBV formed when the Lil’wat Nation partnered with an established local company.

The company also retained a local contracting company, Demidoff Equipment Ltd., to provide management expertise. Brennan said one of the more rewarding aspects of the project was helping local workers learn new trades.

There was never a shortage of skills to learn when building the cross-country and biathlon stadiums, roads, bridges, as well as water, electrical and sewer systems.

“The feedback I’ve gotten from the Europeans, delegates and people who have been on site have been blown away and you start to realize how amazing it really is,” he said.

A workforce of 2,500 men and women was recruited from B.C. and across Canada to help build the Whistler venues that will host 46 Olympic medal events and 62 Paralympic medal events in 2010. To celebrate the end of construction, VANOC and its funding partners from the Government of Canada and the Province of B.C. hosted a free community celebration on Dec. 14 to recognize the workers involved in the construction of the three Whistler venues and their families.

The event featured local musical talent and a visit by the Vancouver 2010 mascots. During the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler Olympic Park will host the biathlon, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping events. The Whistler Sliding Centre will host bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events.

Whistler Creekside will host the alpine skiing events.

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010.

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