Bid Corporation studying Cypress to host snowboarding, freestyle 

Studies are underway and proposals are being discussed as Cypress mountain considers hosting the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events for the 2010 Winter Games.

Whistler and Blackcomb were considered as venues for the events but the mountains were soon ruled out as it became clear a substantial amount of development would be needed to host the competitions in areas easily accessible by spectators on foot.

In one scenario the Upper Cheakamus, or south side of Whistler Mountain, would have been developed with a new lift joining the area with the rest of Whistler Mountain.

In another the terrain Park on Blackcomb would have been used but that would have entailed building one new chair lift to move spectators and another one just for the Olympic family.

"Whistler was looked at," said Mark Taylor of MASEV communications, who is also a member of the 2010 Bid Corp’s sport organizing working group.

"But what it came down was although Whistler has a mass of huge ski and snowboard terrain for the pubic it has very limited terrain for major international events set up with access by road, access for the public, and access for the Olympic Family."

Even Base II was considered, but in the end experts turned their eyes to Vancouver.

Grouse was ruled out because it only has access by tram. Seymour missed the cut because it didn’t have the right terrain, but Cypress was just right.

Apart from terrain one of the major determining factors for having the competitions on Cypress was the excellent road access.

"This will help minimize the impact in Whistler," said Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation spokesman Sam Corea.

"Being at Cypress will help to increase the capacity in terms of spectators because you don’t have to move them as far."

If the freestyle and snowboarding events are held at Cypress that would mean only the alpine and Nordic ski events and the bobsleigh/luge/skeleton competitions would be held in Whistler.

Currently the proposals call for the freestyle to be hosted on previously logged land on Black Mountain. The area is currently not used for anything.

The snowboarding would also be held on Black Mountain but near the site of the new high-speed quad chair, the Eagle Express.

A major stumbling block to hosting the 2010 Games at Cypress is the lack of snow making equipment.

"We don’t have snowmaking right now and that is something they require so we are looking at how and if that can be done," said Cypress Mountain spokesman Matthew Broadbent.

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