German Olympic Youth Camp to be based in Pemberton 

Copperdome Lodge owner wants to see more Olympic opportunities

Pemberton's Copperdome Lodge is partnering with a German sports organization for the 2010 Olympic Games.

Lodge owner Ian Porter had worked for months to bring the Jamaican bobsled team to town for 2010, hoping to help the team and boost interest in Pemberton by the thousands of media coming for the Games.

But Porter and others soon realized the partnership wouldn't work.

Now 40 of the crème de la crème of German youth athletes and their coaches will be staying at the 19-room lodge.  The Copperdome Lodge was selected by the German Olympic Sports Confederation and the German Olympic Academy to host the German Olympic Youth Camp a couple of months ago.

"What I have been told is that they are not the athletes for this Games but they are the athletes who will be in the next sets of Games," said Porter.

"The key is to bring them here and give them an Olympic experience and a holistic one so they get to see all the positive things an Olympics does over and above just sport, and also to have a cross cultural experience, and get to know more about Canada and Canadians."

Porter plans to help the German organizers arrange cultural nights so that the athletes can meet Canadian peers and others.

"They very much want to tie in with locals," said Porter.

While Porter is excited about the deal for Copperdome he confesses to some frustration that more Olympic opportunities are not coming to Pemberton, just 35 km north of Whistler.

"It is frustrating to me that nothing else is happening," he said.

"Pemberton is talking about getting bus parking lots and stuff like that, and that is fine on a purely business level, but that really doesn't have any appeal as far as the Olympics go.

"I don't think that gets to the true value of the thing. Getting Olympic teams or future teams like this has a lot more tie-in to the real Games and the spirit of it and I would love to see more this kind of thing happen."

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