No snowboard World Cup in B.C. 

Big White can't meet FIS criteria

By Andrew Mitchell

After Whistler hosted the FIS Snowboard World Championships in 2005, wrapping up a decade of hosting World Cup events, there won’t be a World Cup snowboard event anywhere in B.C. this winter.

This spring Whistler was forced to give up its World Cup snowboardcross and halfpipe events when future North American World Cup events were bumped back to later in the season to coincide with the 2010 Olympics —rescheduling to March was not an option with the resort already at capacity during peak tourism season.

Big White offered to pick up the slack, but according to the Vancouver Sun they were forced to back out when $2 million needed for in improvements to snowmaking and facilities couldn’t be found. Organizers at the resort had planned to build the first permanent snowboardcross course in the world, and to upgrade their halfpipe to the highest international standards.

Snowmaking is also a requirement of the Federation Internationale de Ski, the international body that oversees the World Cup snowboard circuit.

Big White is laying the blame at the feet of the Canadian Snowboard Federation, which said it would come up with the money for the improvements. For their part, the CSF acknowledged they never had the money themselves but instead worked to secure funding from federal and provincial facilities. Their requests were denied, as most of the money for recreational projects is allocated to local governments, and not to private resorts or national sports organizations — even though the centre would have been dedicated to training the national team.

The CSF is still planning a World Cup halfpipe contest for Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, the details of which are still being finalized, and World Cup events in Quebec will go on as usual.

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