February 15, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Piece by Piece 

Ten years later, two years out, the 2010 Olympic Games are coming together

click to enlarge Kristjan and Nikolas Rohde pose with Olympic mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi at the two-year countdown in Whistler on Feb. 12.
  • Kristjan and Nikolas Rohde pose with Olympic mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi at the two-year countdown in Whistler on Feb. 12.


The 40-year countdown

Local sets sights on site he helped to build

The weather wild card

Janyk family on a mission

Village security — to flow or not to flow?

Under surveillance

Olympic gifts of medical proportions

Where arts and culture shine

Games impact on Whistler’s Sea to Sky neighbours

A destination for athletes

The 40-year countdown

By Clare Ogilvie

It’s been ten years since Whistler decided that the third time would be the charm and it would once again enter the competition to host an Olympics.

Despite passion and support, neither its 1968 nor 1976 bids to host the Winter Games were successful.

But in July 2003 Whistler’s enduring dream came true when it heard the International Olympic Committee announce that Vancouver and Whistler had been chosen to host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Those were some of the sweetest words long time resident and passionate Olympic supporter Garry Watson has ever heard.

“My view has always been that the Olympic bid was the catalyst in the original concept that created Whistler and in my view we owed it, we had an obligation to the community, the province, and the country to put on the Games,” said Watson who helped in the original bid in the ‘60s and is considered a founder of the resort.

“I have always said that the village itself was the legacy of the 1976 bid, which created the concept of the village, and the province bought into it and incorporated the municipality in 1975. So I feel that the community owed a lot to the concept of the Olympics.”

But for Whistler just wanting to host the Games was not enough. This time around the town would only commit if Games organizers agreed to certain conditions laid out by the municipality. Those discussions led to the formation of thirteen Guiding Principles, which have governed the resort’s partnership with the Games since the beginning. For example, sustainability practices became a cornerstone of the plan.

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