OCOG keeping options for alpine events open 

Olympic co-ordination commission tours Whistler and likes what they see

If any Olympic alpine skiing events are moved within Whistler full consultation will take place first, said a top official with the Vancouver 2010 organizing committee.

"(The Olympics) is very sport- and athlete-focused so the discussion will always be about what is the best possible situation for athletes and sport as we go forward," said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizing committee.

"As we go along with this certain elements could evolve a little more. But nothing will evolve without a broad agreement between everyone who is involved."

Furlong was in Whistler this week, along with members of the International Olympic Committee’s co-ordination commission, to look over the venues, discuss the current plans, and assess progress.

Rumours have been circulating that some in the sports associations would like to see more alpine ski events finish at Whistler Mountain’s Creekside base.

"There has been some talk of that," said Furlong.

"But we haven’t had a chance to think about any of that yet.

"When their technical people come to Whistler and they look at the broad plan who knows what will fall out of that, and if there is discussion about that then we will review it at the time and see what is the best thing to do."

Under current plans Whistler Mountain will host the men’s downhill, super-G, and combined downhill on the Dave Murray Downhill. The women’s downhill, super-G and combined downhill will take place on Franz’s.

Blackcomb Mountain will host the giant slalom, the slalom and combined slalom technical events on Cruiser.

The Paralympics will use the same venues for their events.

David Pym, who is on the board of Alpine Canada Alpin, said the discussions are occurring out of an abundance of caution to make sure every option is explored for the running of the Olympic races.

"There have been a lot of rumours floating around," said Pym who was also a FIS technical delegate at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 for the IOC.

"But there is no concern over the current venues. They are all suitable and they all work. But to be prudent we always, always look for all sorts of other options that would be available to those making the decisions when these events are being run.

"You are always looking at options. Right now the game plan is exactly as it is put forward but we would be negligent if we did not look at all possibilities that we could.

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