Whistler Sliding Centre’s winter season has started

Canadian national sliding teams and athletes from 25 countries will train and compete on Whistler’s ice track in the coming months

Whistler, BC: For some, summer is just over, but for the Whistler Sliding Centre, the winter season is already in full swing. On October 20, the Canadian national luge team opened the on-ice season with their top athletes such as Alex Gough, Kimberley McRae and Mitchel Malyk. Also Whistler’s own luge talents and members of the national junior team Matt Riddle, Reid Watts and Adam Shippit have made their first descends of the season. Also the Canadian bobsleigh and skeleton national teams with athletes like Vancouverite Jane Channell and Elisabeth Vathje (both skeleton) and bobsleigh pilots Kaillie Humphries, Chris Spring and Justin Kripps (Summerland, BC) will train on the track in the coming weeks.

‘The continued commitment, dedication and partnership with the Whistler Sliding Centre guarantees a high quality field of play and training environment for our athletes and coaches. The top conditions combined with a high run volume provide us with the critical preparation needed to be successful on the World Cup tour’, said Walter Corey, High Performance Director of the Canadian Luge Association. Training on Whistler’s ice track is popular in the sliding circuit. As many as 25 nations are planning on sending their bobsleigh, skeleton and luge athletes this winter season to refine their skills. Currently, British skeleton and Korean bobsleigh and skeleton athletes are enjoying a full-service training package with accommodation at the Whistler Athletes’ Centre, nations such as the US, Latvia, Italy and Japan have made similar arrangements.

The Whistler Sliding Centre will be hosting 14 national and international events this winter season, the highlight of them being the IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup on January 22 and 23, 2016. The event will be the first of several World Cups leading up to the Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships, which will be held at the Whistler Sliding Centre in 2019.

Also the public will again be able to enjoy a thrilling ride down the world’s fastest sliding track. On December 4, the public bobsleigh and skeleton sport experience programs will start into their fifth season. By booking their rides, public participants can pride themselves with directly supporting national and international sliding athletes. ‘The public programs are an essential initiative for us to grow sliding sports. The revenue generated helps us keep training costs low for our Canadian athletes and attract international athletes to stay and train in Whistler’, explained Roger Soane, President and CEO of Whistler Sport Legacies. For $169 plus tax, public participants can enjoy either a bobsleigh ride with a pilot through 10 corners, reaching speeds of up to 125 km/hr, or two solo skeleton rides with top speeds of 100 km/hr. Advance booking for the public rides is already possible online or by phone at 604-964-0040.