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Letter to the Editor: Games bring joy and help host venues shine

Olympic rings
Whistler in 2010 was an exciting place to be, full of camaraderie and happy volunteers—do we need to do it again?

The 2030 Olympics, yes or no?

I quite agree with Max (Pique, July 22, “Want to send a message to the IOC? Don’t watch the Games”) and his description of the International Olympic Committee, but I have always looked on the Olympics, especially the winter version from the volunteer’s perspective.

I don’t know if I speak for all of them, but in Whistler we have had a crew of alpine course workers known as the Weasel Workers who have worked on many international ski races both here and abroad. 

We worked the first races back in the ‘70s with Bob Parson and some very key people to get the course ready, safety wise, for the World Cups. In the ‘80s we continued on the same program for several successful downhills, including Rob Boyd’s win in 1989 on his home course. Since then we set up several World Cup races in the ‘90s until FIS decided to change the date of the races to early December. 

Later, some of the Weasel Workers worked at the Lake Louise and Beaver Creek World Cup races as well as the Winter Olympics in Italy and Salt Lake and of course our own Winter Olympics here in Whistler in 2010. 

We also travelled to Panorama for the 2015 Para-Alpine World Championships and went to Korea twice, in 2017 and again in 2018 for the Para-Olympics. We were invited by their organizing committee to help with their alpine course. 

We have always been there at the races, not working with the IOC, but rather working for the athletes. If you can get past the politics of the IOC and the Olympics its all about the racers. 

Watching a Para race is the most inspiring and emotional experience in sport. A blind downhill race, for example. Try to imagine that with a guide in front and the racer moving with speed unable to see the track, truly courageous. We saw a number of local athletes racing in different events in 2010 while their parents were overcome with happiness. 

Whistler in 2010 was an exciting place to be, full of camaraderie and happy volunteers, the Smurfs of the day. We welcomed not only the athletes, but also the bus drivers and police from different parts of Canada who were lost the first days but found their spots. Following the Olympics and Paras, the world, including the non-skiers around the world, wanted to see and visit Whistler. 

Do we need to do it again? 

Well we have most of the venues already, so it would be less expensive to do it again and the organizing committee would have to build more housing to be used for resident housing after. 

We can shine again, and man that was a party.