This post comes to you live from Whistler, B.C. host of the 2010 winter Olympics.
Where will you be in 2010? If you are fortunate enough to purchase one of the 1.8 million tickets being sold for the winter Olympics, you will be in Whistler or Vancouver. However, as I wondered around the village one very important question kept circling in my mind, where will every one fit?
Whistler is a small mountain resort town located about 2 hours outside of Vancouver, B.C. The population is just under 10,000 but during the winter season it becomes significantly larger. The resort first started as a fishing destination and by the 1920’s it had gained much popularity. It was known as Alta Lake and could house up to 100 guests. In the 1960’s four Vancouver businessmen discovered the area and recognized its potential as a ski resort (this was before the days of snowboarding). They developed the area with the intention of hosting the winter Olympics. They had hoped to host the Olympics in 1976 but such an ambitious goal took another 34 years to come true. The name Whistler was chosen because of the marmots who made whistling noises….who knew?
Although Whistler is in the business of providing lodging to 2 million visitors a year, it is not used to accommodating such a large number of people in such a small span of time. The Olympics will last 17 days and some fairly innovative solutions are in the works. There will be over 10,000 media representatives which matches the population of Whistler. There will also be an estimated 5,500 athletes and coaches and then there are the residents, Whistler employees and spectators to consider. The Vancouver Organizing Committee has discussed mooring a cruise ship just outside of Whistler in neighboring Squamish. This would provide an additional 1,600 beds and there have been rumors of housing people in schools.
I imagine these complexities were not on French nobleman Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertin’s mind when he founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894. The Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” which means “swifter, higher, stronger” in Latin seems to be a good starting point but from the Organizing committees’ point of view may need to be modified somewhat to include “swifter, higher, stronger and more accommodation.”
For more Information on the 2010 the Olympics visithttp://www.vancouver2010.com/en