Whistler: The Year in Sports 

It’s been said a thousand times in a thousand different ways, but there’s really no place like Whistler. And one of the things that sets us apart from all the other mountain towns out there is our all-consuming passion for our sports.

We are home to professional and amateur mountain bikers, skiers and snowboarders, who compete at the local, national and international level. Some came here for the mountains, while others grew up in Whistler surrounded by all kinds of excellence.

Our local sports scene is intense, and there are leagues and clubs for almost everything. Participation is generally through the roof.

Through our fame and our reputation as a town that takes its sports seriously, we have become a stop on world tours for a wide variety of sports, from golf to skateboarding to slo-pitch softball.

As a result of this fanaticism, we pack more into a single year than most towns our size can boast in an entire decade. Here are some of the highlights from 2001.

January

Jan 7 to 11 –Whistler hosted the Canadian Freeskiing Championships once again, and local skiers came out on top. Jennifer Ashton, a member of the Whistler Freeride Team, finished first among the women. Local Hugo Harrison, the reigning world freeski champion, was second in the men’s competition, while Whistler’s Pierre Yves-Leblanc took third overall.

Jan. 13 – Canadian skier Melanie Turgeon landed on the podium twice in one day, winning a bronze and a silver medal in two downhills in Austria.

Jan. 17 to 21 – Whistler hosted the 2001 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, with moguls, dual moguls and aerials events. Canada came up big. In the single moguls, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau and Stephane Rochon claimed silver and bronze medals. Aerialist Veronika Bauer won the gold medal and the championship title, while Diedra Dionne took the bronze. In the dual moguls, Whistler’s Tami Bradley won the silver medal, facing Kari Traa of Norway in the last run.

Jan. 25 to 29 – Canada’s Jasey Jay Anderson wins the men’s GS at the 2001 FIS World Championships of Snowboarding in Italy. Whistler’s Lori Glazier is sixth in the women’s halfpipe.

February

Feb. 3 – The Wild Willies team once again wins the annual Peak to Valley Race, led by ski coach Chris Kent. This was Kent’s eighth win in nine years.

Feb. 9 – Fernie’s Emily Brydon, one of Canada’s top up and coming ski racers, tore three ligaments and injured her meniscus at the World Alpine Ski Championships.

Feb. 10 – Whistler’s Nikke Kassel wins the annual Fairmont Chateau Whistler Cross Country Ski Loppet, which attracted almost 300 competitors from the Pacific Coast and as far away as Australia.

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