Whistler Olympic Park facilitates early season training on stored snow: ‘Callaghan Gold’ trail provides training advantage to BC’s Nordic athletes
Whistler, BC: The on-snow training season has already begun for British Columbia’s Nordic high performance athletes. For the third time, Whistler Olympic Park has created ‘Callaghan Gold’, a 1.5 kilometre cross-country ski loop made out of stored natural snow from the 2016/2017 season. The training loop, which is located adjacent to the biathlon range, has been open since October 28 exclusively to Nordic elite and club athletes. At this point, there is no skiing available for the general public until the Park fully opens on November 23.
“We are proud that we can provide our athletes with this early season training advantage. It is an important initiative for us as a venue to offer top training opportunities. Over the years, our operations team really optimized the process, so that we are able to store a very large amount of good quality snow over the summer”, explains Whistler Olympic Park’s Managing Director, Tim Hope.
Up until Whistler Olympic Park’s official opening day on November 23, 600-700 athletes are projected to train on the stored snow trail. Etienne Letondeur, Head Coach of the Park’s own Whistler Nordic Development Centre with eight full-time athletes, sees ‘Callaghan Gold’ as a big advantage: “Being able to ski that early will give our athletes a head start into the race season. Dryland training in summer just does not compare to training on snow. ‘Callaghan Gold’ is ideal for high intensity training, to refine techniques and to test equipment.”
Athletes will be traveling from as far as Prince George, Kimberley, Golden and Vancouver Island, as the Whistler Nordic Development Centre squad will be joined not only by regional club athletes, but also the BC Ski Team, BC Development Squad, BC Talent Squad and other Nordic groups from all over British Columbia.