2010 Winter Olympic And Paralympic Games

Whistler Blackcomb

During the winter of 2009/2010, Whistler Blackcomb realized a five-decade-long dream of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Olympics.

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was Whistler Blackcomb's chance to make Canada proud. Though years of hard work went into the planning of a well-executed Games, there could be no accounting for the incredible energy, enthusiasm and pride that spontaneously erupted from everyone who experienced them.

Whistler Blackcomb played host to the world's best athletes and a global contingent of volunteers, and this diversity provided the memories that we will carry with us forever as souvenirs.


2010 Winter Games

Olympic Afterglow

With the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games a resounding success, Whistler Blackcomb invites the world to experience the legacies and magic of the Games.

  • The Official Alpine Skiing Venue, which includes the Dave Murray Downhill and the Women's Course on Whistler Mountain which the Olympians and Paralympians competed on, are open to the public for skiing and snowboarding.
  • Snowmaking capabilities at Whistler Blackcomb have more than doubled due to a four-year partnership and a $17.5 million investment by VANOC. Guests will enjoy improved early-season snow coverage as well as longer lasting ski outs as the season winds down.
  • The Sea to Sky Highway, greatly improved during the lead up to the Games, is now a faster, safer and more scenic route from Vancouver to Whistler.

Olympic Legacy Display

A new addition this season is the Roundhouse Lodge Olympic Legacy Display, showcasing the achievements of local athletes and Games-time highlights. The display includes athlete stories, photos, Didier Defago's gold medal winning Rossignol skis and a wood carved replica of the medals podium for your own Olympic photo opportunities.

2010 Winter Games
2010 Winter Games

A Destiny Realized

The ski area was, in fact, born for the Games. Inspired by a trip to the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, Franz Wilhelmsen formed Garibaldi Lift Limited, which lead to the launch of Whistler Mountain in 1966. The rest, they say, is history.

In the early 1960's Garibaldi Olympic Development Association searched the Coast Mountain Range for the ideal spot to host the Olympic Games. London Mountain was eventually chosen and renamed Whistler Mountain.

Three unsuccessful bids were made in an attempt to secure the games between 1962 and 1973. In 1974 the B.C. government backed the town initiative and helped Whistler develop the proper infrastructure to make the dream a reality.

Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains merged in 1997, and on July 2, 2003 the International Olympic Committee announced that Whistler/Vancouver and would host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

2010 Winter Games

The Paralympics Story

As the follow up to the Olympic Games, Canada's first ever Paralympic Winter Games became not just about athletic achievement, but about perseverance and overcoming great odds in the pursuit of personal goals.

Gifted athletes from all disciplines inspired the world with their determination, commitment and courageous performances.

The Paralympic Alpine events hosted on Whistler Mountain served to redefine the perceptions of "disabilities" for all of those who watched and marveled at the grit, determination and skill demonstrated by the athletes during the eight day celebration.

2010 Winter Games

Vibe In The Village

While the Games were undoubtably about sport, there was no need to attend an event to feel the Olympic energy. Giant television screens in Whistler Village broadcast live events, highlights and special features, pub and restaurant patios were packed with Games enthusiasts, Whistler's walkways were alive with revelers boasting flags, national colours, costumes and cowbells. The result was an unmistakable spirit of unity and celebration that only the Olympic Games can create.

The Red Mittens Story

The bright red, maple leaf-emblazened mittens created specifically for the Games became one of its most enduring icons. While they were intended to represent the patriotic, playful and resilient nature of Canadians, they ended up as the "must have" fun and functional memento of the 2010 Games.

2010 Winter Games

Sea To Sky Athletes

Whistler is an outdoor playground, so it’s no wonder that Whistler Blackcomb is a hotbed for young athletes who aspire to one day be on top of the podium. And there are a number who’ve done just that.

Athletes can take advantage of one of North American’s longest ski and snowboard seasons, world-class facilities and unrivaled training camps.

USA half-pipe gold medalist and all-round snowboarding rock star Shaun White, cut his teeth on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier with the Camp of Champions summer program.

Freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau, who won Canada’s first ever gold medal on home soil, has been involved in the Momentum Ski Camps for many years and has recently returned as a coach to pay it forward.

There are a total of 13 Olympic and 5 Paralympic ski and snowboard athletes from the Sea to Sky Corridor who competed in the 2010 Winter Games. They are:


Ashleigh McIvor (Gold Medalist In First Ever Ski Cross Athlete)

As an athlete with an inspiring confidence and a drive to accomplish whatever goal she sets for herself Ashleigh McIvor was favoured going into the 2010 Games. The Whistler born-and-raised racer didn't disappoint, as she took home the first ever women's Skiercross gold medal and inspired a nation of young people and brought world-wide attention to the relatively new sport.

Britt Janyk

Britt Janyk (Alpine Skier) Michael Janyk (Alpine Skier)

Britt and Michael Janyk, both title holders of the Canadian Skiing Championships, competed on the same team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and, having skied at Whistler Blackcomb since childhood, felt right at home. The siblings have been living and training in Whistler since their teens, and are local heroes to Whistler residents. Britt and Michael led the parade through Whistler during Vancouver's opening ceremonies, reminding Whistlerites that as international as the Games are, inspiration starts at home.

Davey Barr – (Freestyle Skier)

Julia Murray (Ski Cross Athlete)

Justin Lamoureaux (Snowboard Halfpipe Athlete)

Kristi Richards (Freestyle Skier)

Maelle Ricker (Gold Medalist In Snowboard Cross Athlete)

Squamish snowboarder Maelle Ricker dreamt of winning an Olympic gold medal long before her sport was named an Olympic event. The Vancouver-born athlete placed fourth in the 2006 Turin Games after a crash left her hospitalized with a minor concussion. Ricker's win in Snowboard Cross in 2010 made her the first Canadian female athlete to win a gold medal on home soil, citing her near miss in Turin as the main source of her motivation.

2010 Winter Games

Manuel Osborne Paradis (Alpine Skiing) Robbie Dixon (Alpine Skier)

Two of Canada's strongest and most dedicated ski racers made their country proud by putting it all on the line during the 2010 Games. Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Robbie Dixon, both racers who grew up skiing with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, took their experience as Top 10 World Cup competitors to the Dave Murray Downhill course and, while they came away empty handed, remain resolutely focused on the 2014 Games.

Megan Tandy (Biathalete)

Mercedes Nicoll (Snowboard Halfpipe Athlete)

Rob Fagan (Snowboard Athlete)


Tyler Mosher (Adaptive Cross Country Skier)

Matt Hallatt (Para-Alpine Skier)

Born in Vancouver and currently residing in Squamish, Matthew Hallat is the Sea-to-Sky Corridor's only downhill Paralympian. His leg was amputated as a result of cancer when he was five years old, and he began ski racing seven years later. He competed in the 2006 Paralympics Winter Games and has since become a five-time Canadian National Slalom Champion and Top 10 competitor on the World Cup circuit. Hallat placed 11th in the Men's Standing Downhill and 17th in the Men's Standing Slalom at the 2010 Paralympic Games.

Morgan Perrin (Para-Alpine Skier)

Sam Carter Danniels (Para-Alpine Skier)

Viviane Forest & Lindsay Debou (Para-Alpine Skier)

The visually impaired Vivian Forest is a legally blind Paralympian champion with only 4% vision. Forest's guide, Lindsay Debou, was born in North Vancouver and raised in the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. Together, they are Canada's strongest ski racing duo. Forest and Debou navigate gates at speeds of up to 120 km/h via two-way radio communication. At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Forest and Debou stood on the podium at every event they entered, winning a total of one gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

2010 Winter Games

Alpine Skiing Venue

Whistler's unique environment and status as Canada's most celebrated mountain resort made for an ideal backdrop to the Winter Games' alpine events.

The famed Dave Murray Downhill hosted the men's ski events on the same challenging and steep course that local legend Rob Boyd won World Cup Downhill gold on in 1988.

Wild Card and Lower Franz's provided the venue for the women's events, and proved to be a test of the athletes' abilities with its variable and challenging terrain.

Dave Murray Downhill

Dave Murray Downhill FAQ

The Dave Murray Downhill is named after Dave Murray, one of the original “Crazy Canucks,” and one of the most popular ski personalities Canada has ever produced.

After retiring from the Canadian Ski Team in 1982, he joined Whistler Mountain as Director of Skiing and created a series of events and programs targeting mature skiers. The legendary Dave Murray Camps continue to be offered at Whistler Blackcomb to this day. Dave passed away in 1989, after a valiant fight against cancer. The run was named in his honour in 1990.

The steepest section on the men’s course is 58 per cent on the Fallaway pitch. The approximate range of pitch on the Dave Murray Downhill is from 29 per cent to 58 per cent.

This original trail was basically a narrow creek bed for the first 13 years. The run was first blasted and made wider in 1978, again in 1983 and again in 1995 (all for ski racing).

In the late 90’s the marketing people changed the names on the official Downhill course map but the old names stuck and the new ones disappeared.

Dave Murray Downhill Key Spots

The “Toilet Bowl” is near the start of the course and is where there is an abrupt roll-over onto a steep pitch. Since this was originally the main route back to Olympic Station, during the end-of-day ski out there were comparisons made to the “flushing out” action of a toilet as there were so many people in such a narrow corridor. This also led to the naming of the “Sewer” as the place that all this flushing delivered these folks.

“The Weasel” is a steep pitch at the equivalent elevation as the top of the Creekside Gondola (mid-station). Whistler Weasel Workers got their name from the job of boot-packing the Weasel section of the course. “Afterburner” is a steep ledge that crosses Lower Insanity to Coaches Corner. “Coach’s Corner” is just past the halfway mark and has been widened in preparation for 2010 Winter Games athletes. “Boyd’s Bump” is a short section just before “Murr’s Jump” or “Hot Air.” “Murr’s Jump” is also known as “Hot Air” and is the last technical section of the course before the finish line.

2010 Winter Games

Venue Facts

  • 7,700 - Olympic Winter Games venue capacity
  • 5,000 - Paralympic Winter Games venue capacity
  • 1,662 metres – elevation of the men’s downhill course start
  • 1,545 metres – elevation of the ladies’ downhill course start
  • 810 metres - Finish area elevation
  • 28% - average slope gradient on the race courses
  • 58% - Steepest section on the men’s course is on the Fallaway pitch
  • 61% - Steepest section on the ladies’ course is just bellow the ladies’ tunnel
  • 3.158 kilometres (1.962 miles) – the length of the Dave Murray Downhill
  • 33 – number of turns on the men’s downhill
  • 29 – number of turns on the ladies’ downhill
  • 30 kilometres (18.64 miles) – the amount of safety netting needed for both race courses
  • 120-130 kilometres per hour (75-81 mph) – average speed of racers,
  • 148km/h (92mph) - the top clocked racing speed

Spirit Of Competition Lives On

Whistler Blackcomb was founded with the dream of hosting the Olympics, and that same spirit of friendly athletic competition has carried the ski area through to the 2010 Winter Games and beyond.

Just because the Games are over, doesn’t mean the action stops. Here are ski and snowboard competitions that continue to help foster the spirit of the Games at Whistler Blackcomb:

Peak to Valley Race

Peak To Valley Race

The Peak to Valley Race is the longest running team race in the Sea to Sky area and has been running since 1984. An average of 320 racers compete on 80 teams consisting of four racers. Teams are then categorized according to their cumulative age. The race takes place over two days; two team members race on the first day and two on the second.

The course, which consists of 180 gates, begins at the top of Whistler Mountain on a run called The Saddle and ends at Creekside Base. Full Details »

Kokanee Valley Race Series

Kokanee Valley Race Series

The Kokanee Valley Race Series is held once per week throughout the peak winter season. The series is open to skiers, telemarkers and snowboarders with different gender and age divisions. No racing experience is required to join in on the fun of recreational racing. All you need is the desire to participate and we'll look after the rest. Full Details »

Best Value

Ski And Snowboard Cross

Snowcross events in both the skiing and snowboarding disciplines were in the spotlight during the 2010 Winter Games. Whistler Blackcomb has been fostering the sport for many years in its Nintendo Terrain Park through these two-day Snowcross competitions, which run at select periods throughout the winter.

Events are recreational competitions open to all ages. Amateur skiers and boarders will compete in different divisions on the Nintendo Terrain Park Snowcross course. Full Details »

King of the Rail

King Of The Rail

The King of the Rail is a series of rail jam contests which run on selected nights at the Base of Blackcomb next to the Magic Chair. There are a variety of categories: Snowboarders and Skiers, Male and Female and Adult and Youth. 

Category winners receive a percentage of the cash entry fees as a prize and all participants are entered in to win draw prizes from Whistler Blackcomb sponsors. Full Details »

Park Rider Sessions

Park Rider Sessions

Park Rider Sessions feature Slopestyle, Rail Jams and Halfpipe events, take place on both mountains utilizing the best terrain available. Competitions open to skiers and snowboarders, all ages welcome. Full Details »

Showcase Showdown

Showcase Showdown

This Snowboard specific event, sponsored by Whistler Blackcomb’s Showcase Snowboard Surf and Skate shop, has been running since 1997. Taking place in early spring, it has been through several incarnations over the years, focusing on a variety of disciplines, including halfpipe and slopestyle.

Showcase, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2010, was Canada’s first and largest Burton supplier. Full Details »


World Ski And Snowboard Festival

Every April, Whistler hosts the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF), one of the largest snow sports, music and entertainment festivals in the world. For 10 days, pro skiers and snowboarders impress with their biggest bags of tricks at world renowned competitions, free concerts rock the village, film and fine art events dazzle crowds, and parties pump up the beats. With annual attendance of over 250,000 visitors, the WSSF is the perfect time to discover the latest trends in snowsports, lifestyle and music. 

The Grenade Games, a snowboard-specific event - have recently been incorporated into WSSF, bringing the festival back to its grassroots core.
The festival also a great chance for halfpipe skiers to showcase their skills as part of the World Skiing Invitational tour. Thus far, halfpipe skiing hasn’t been added to the Olympic event roster, however, with pressure from organizations like the Canadian Halfpipe Ski team, it is in consideration for Sochi 2014.

The recent addition of Whistler Blackcomb’s 22-foot Olympic-sized halfpipe continues to elevate the competition to new heights. Full Details »