Tag Archives: Olympic Gold Medal

Whistler Wins With Biodiversity

Lindsey Vonn Wins Gold at Whistler Blackcomb 2010 Winter Olympics

Lindsey Vonn, who just moments ago took Olympic Gold for the U.S. in women’s downhill skiing, did so up at Whistler-Blackcomb mountain.  She started from the No. 17 position and  completed the long, 2,939-metre course in one minute, 44.19 seconds. She was 0.56 seconds ahead of her teammate Julia Mancuso, who was the 10th skier down, and a full 1.46 seconds ahead of the bronze medal winner Elisabeth Goergl of Austria.

Whistler plays host during these 2010 Winter Olympics to some of the most exciting sports of the competitive games:  Bobsleigh, Luge and  Men’s and Women’s downhill Alpine skiing and .  It bills itself as the “best ski and snowboard resort in North America.”  It is also playing host mountain resort for the Paralympic games.

Whistler Blackcomb Ski Runs

Locals will ask, “You know what they say about Whistler?” And then they’ll tell you: “The billionaires kicked out the millionaires.”

Whistler-Blackcomb is celebrating more than the Olympics this year. It is also celebrating the International Year of  Biodiversity in 2010.  Residents from the local Resort Municipality of Whistler are working to reduce biodiversity loss and protect habitats.

Biodiversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities. This weakens the ability living systems, upon which we depend, to provide us with food, fuel, medicine and other life essentials.

Whistler has a biodiversity challenge. You can check it out at: Whistler

And if you are a skiier as well as an Olympic enthusiast, keep in mind that more than 90 per cent of Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain will remain open to recreation skiers during  the Olympic Games.

The Olympics’ participating countries and also Canada’s Provinces are all hosting hospitality houses for the athletes, their friends, families and fans.  Today is Alberta Day and the Province is running the Alberta Train from Vancouver to Whistler every day during the games, to help eliminate CO2 emissions from vehicle exhaust pipes that might otherwise be driven up and down the mountain.  Home to more than just the country’s repository of Natural Gas reserves, Alberta’s cities of Calgary and Edmonton both have healthy environmental agendas.  In addition, the Alberta House in Vancouver has been built with environmentally friendly design. The reclaimed wood lattices that adorn the outside of the building will all be donated and re-purposed once the building is turned back over to the original owner. The owner, a native Albertan, is also pleased with the interior upgrades the House designers bestowed on her business; upgrades that will be left intact once the Olympic Team packs up and leaves.

Whistler’s Austrian Passive House

Austria has gone all out up in Whistler with its hospitality house.  It built the Austria Passive House as one of only 12 passive houses in all of North America.  Their mission, “to enable the future with the help of innovative and ecological ideas.”

Your task is not to foresee the future but to enable it.   – Antoine de Saint Exupery

The 2,700 square foot house was inspired by traditional building of the country’s Alpine Regions, is a south-facing structure and is covered with a gable roof. The passive house was built using ecologically sustainable materials and without any glues, using instead diagonally dowelled fir structures.

The patented DD-Diagonal Dowel system is an example of the superb craftsmanship on display throughout the house. Natural insulating materials such as cork and sheep’s wool are used for the houses, windows and doors are made out of wood. These factors contribute to the top-quality ventilating system that’s at the core of every APG house and offers a “climatic spa” healthy living environment.

The Austria House was built as a “Legacy House” meaning that after the Olympic games are over, it will be handed over to the Resort Municipality of Whistler to become the home of the Whistler Nordic Ski club and the Whistler Outdoor Recreational Cycling Association (WORCA) in the summer.  The Austrian Passive House Group and the Resort Municipality of Whistler worked together to develop this Legacy House.  It expects to be a role model in Canada insofar as the house’s energy efficiency goes and claims to represent an “archetype of ecological architecture.”

And over on that Other Mountain (Cypress)

Everyone tuned into the Olympics is excitedly anticipating U.S. Snowboarding magi Shaun White’s upcoming run later today. On Monday, America’s Seth Wescott won, in an upset, the men’s Olympic snowboard cross gold medal. Mike Robertson of Canada took Silver in the same competition.

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Canada Owns The – Gold – Podium

Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada’s Olympic Gold Medalist, First to Win Gold on Home Soil, Ever

Marking Olympic History, Alexandre Bilodeau is the first Canadian in history to win Olympic Gold on Canada’s home soil.

“It will be a special moment tonite,” says the Olympic Gold Medalist at a COC press conference today, referring to the Medal ceremonies. “Obviously I have goosebumps inside to touch an Olympic Gold Medal. I looked at Jenn’s [Heil] medal  but I didn’t touch it.”

The humble and self-reflective Bilodeau credits his older brother, who suffers from cerebral palsy, with inspiring him. He says his brother wakes up with a big smile and goes to bed with a big smile. “Whenever I feel like complaining I just shut up and get on with it. My brother is such an example of perserverence and happiness,” said Bilodeau. That perserverence has paid off…now the young 23 year old has won Olympic Gold for Canada, on home soil, in downhill Mogul skiing. “This medal is for my brother,” said Bilodeau.

Alexandre Bilodeau, Canada’s Olympic Gold Medalist

“The first Olympic Gold Medal for Canada is not worth more than the second or the third…”

In conjunction with the Canada Olympic Committee’s Own The Podium program, a group of Canadian businessmen got together after Salt Lake City and formed B2Ten.  This B2Ten project is one of  private business mentoring and supporting a select group of elite athletes with the goal of winning Olympic and other world-class sports feats and medals.

B2ten supports athletes by providing access to training resources, support services and technology that  meet the specific needs of each athlete.

Since it’s inception in 2005, B2ten-supported athletes have delivered a long-list of World Cup, World Championship and Olympic medals for Canada.

Bilodeau is quick to acknowledge the incredible support as an athlete he has received from both the B2Ten and Own The Podium programs, working in conjunction with the COC. Support came in the form of extra physio, massage, training, mentoring, and even bio-mechanic expertise.  And the business leaders who fund the B2Ten ask for nothing in return – no logos displayed on the athlete’s uniforms, no formal or public recognition. They just ask that the athletes do their best. “I’ve been having cocktails with the biggest business leaders in Canada; people who themselves have thousands of people who work for them, who they are responsible for.” He says this helped him prepare for the pressure of competing in the Olympics on behalf of his country. “I thought of that in preparing for my run down the mountain.”  A run that won Bilodeau, and Canada, the first-ever Olympic Gold Medal on home ground.

Tonight, at B.C. Place when he is awarded his medal, he will be standing on a wooden podium harvested through sustainable forest management. The Province of British Columbia is a leader, worldwide, in sustainable forest management.  Each podium was assembled from more than 200 pieces and built from one of 18 different wood types donated by communities from all over the Province, including companies, individuals and First Nations. Twenty-three podiums will be at 11 venues.  There will be nightly ceremonies at B.C. Place to award the victors their Olympic Medals.

“It’s just the beginning of a big party for me right now,” acknowledges Bilodeau, who admitted to getting a whole 3 hours of sleep in the 24 hours following his historic run.  Even Premier Campbell was on hand to congratulate the Olympian.  “All of us in Vancouver were up until 3 a.m. celebrating with you,” rasped the Premier of B.C. whose voice had gone slightly hoarse over the celebrations. “You make us all proud. And give my best to your brother.”

Peter Judge of the COC remarked that, “I’ve seen many extraordinary accomplishments but what I saw last night will live in my memory forever.” Judge has been a strong advocate of both the Own The Podium and B2Ten programs for the Canadian athletes. He pointed out that the technical expertise lent to the teams resulted in the downhiill mogul skiing, as a sport, being measured also by optical timers, a refinement that has had impactful results on the sport.

Today, February 15th, also marked B.C. Clean Energy Day.  Premier Campbell and Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Blair Lekstrom, resident of Dawson’s Creek, were on hand to announce several clean energy programs for the Province today. British Columbia operates on 90% renewable energy.

British Columbia the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber, paper and bio-energy products that help mitigate climate change and provide innovative solutions to green building and energy needs.

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