Friday, Feb. 27 represents the 20-year anniversary of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association, 20 years to the exact day that a group of mountain bike advocates adopted a formal constitution.
Since then the club has expanded from a dozen or so people to more than 1,100 members, making it the largest official mountain bike club in the world. Until last year the group was entirely driven by volunteers, with only a part-time paid secretary to handle things like banking and insurance. Now the association has added an executive director to assist other volunteer directors with their growing workloads - organizing 21 Loonie Races from May to the end of September, putting on eight weeks of youth camps in the summer, and hosting events like Phat Wednesday downhill races and weekend races like the West Side Wheel Up and Ken Quon Memorial Ride.
On Friday, after WORCA's annual date fixing meeting with Loonie Race sponsors, the association is hosting a party at Dusty's with a cake cutting at 8 p.m. Original board members will be there, and any current or past members are invited to come out and socialize.
The 20th anniversary celebration will run through the season. More events will be posted online at www.worca.com.
IPC Biathlon and Cross Country World Cup next week
Next week, March 4-8, Whistler Olympic Park is hosting the IPC Biathlon and Cross Country World Cup to test the venue for the 2010 Paralympic Games. All the top athletes are expected to take part, many of them getting their first opportunity to ski the Olympic course.
Participants in biathlon will be competing in three categories - standing, sitting and visually impaired - but otherwise the competition formats are the same as for able-bodied events.
The Biathlon Sprint (800 metres for women and 1,000 metres for men) are set for Wednesday, March 4, with the qualification rounds taking place from 10 a.m. to noon, and the finals from noon to 3:30 p.m.
The cross country middle distance race (5 km and 10 km) gets underway on Thursday at 10 a.m.
The biathlon long distance race (10 km and 12.5 km) is at 10 a.m. on Friday.
The cross-country sprint races (750 metes and 1,200 metres) have the qualifiers from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the finals at noon.
WASP hosts fundraising events
The Whistler Adaptive Sports Program is hosting a pair of fundraising events around the IPC World Cup competitions.
The first event is the WASP Ski-a-Thon at Whistler Olympic Park on March 7, which takes place on the same day as the World Cup cross-country sprint classic and finals. Gather pledges and see how many laps you can make of the course while enjoying the World Cup in the background. Individuals, teams of four and corporate groups are welcome, and tax receipts are available for donations over $25. Visit www.whistleradaptive.com for more information.
The following week, March 14, WASP is hosting Wine'd Up at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, giving the public a chance to meet IPC alpine athletes after they wrap up their final day of racing. More details will be available soon.
Pontiac GMC J1 Championship this weekend
Starting this Saturday, the top 15 and 16 year old alpine racers in Canada will face off at the Pontiac GMC J1 Championships, which is a stepping stone to provincial and national teams.
All events take place on the Dave Murray Downhill, with training on Saturday, giant slalom on Sunday, super G and super combined on Monday and Tuesday, and the slalom on Wednesday.
A detailed schedule and results will be posted at www.j1championships.com.
Also this week, the B.C. High School Championship race will take place March 4 to 6 on Blackcomb.
Taekwondo athletes pass the test
Last week Whistler Taekwondo invited Grand Master Chong Lee to the group to test the students and award belts and promotions. Jan Larsen was promoted to black belt fifth dan, Arnel Egido passed his junior black belt, Liam Measure, Marc Facundo, Dalkichi Kashino and Ali Measure passed their red stripe tests, and Lana Kashino passed her black belt second dan.
LUNA to host winter volleyball
Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA) is hosting a full moon, outdoor volleyball tournament in cooperation with the Whistler Outdoor Volleyball Association on March 11 at Rainbow Park.
There are two categories. The competitive tournament is four-on-four with a maximum of six people per team, and the recreational tournament is six-on-six with a maximum of eight people per team.
Registration forms are available online at www.lunawhistler.com, and the cost is $50 per team, or $45 with a LUNA member. The deadline is Friday, March 6 at 5 p.m.
WASP racers on the podium at Mt. Washinjgton
Members of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program's (WASP) alpine race team took part in an event hosted by the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports at Mt. Washington this past weekend.
The format was a "glalom" race, and 22 athletes took part in a grass roots event that was designed to place athletes with provincial teams in the future.
The first day of the event was a clinic hosted by provincial team coaches, including Whistler's Phil Chew who is the head coach of the B.C. Disabled Alpine Ski Team.
Rob Gosse, a WASP skier on the provincial team, and Merv Labrash of WASP earned gold and silver medals respectively in their competitive categories.