Let the 2010 Games begin …

12th February 2010, by Chris Gill

(c) Vancouver2010.com

(c) Vancouver2010.com

Are you ready? The 2010 Winter Olympic Games is about to begin in Canada, with over two weeks non-stop sporting action from the slopes of Whistler and Cypress Mountains, near Vancouver. And we can’t wait …

The famous Olympic torch has arrived, marking the start to the Games. The official opening ceremony kicks off on Friday evening, 18.00 hours Whistler time – that’s roughly 2am in the UK! Up to 2,500 athletes will be welcomed to the event including Britain’s 52-strong team. Britain’s skeleton bob star and sole medallist from the 2006 Games, Shelly Rudman, will lead the way carrying the Union Jack.

Rudman said: ‘It is a huge honour for me to have been chosen to represent our team and country. We have some wonderful athletes and I will be so proud to be the person who leads them into the stadium.”

Team GB is ready and hoping to equal their medal tally of three. And we have a good chance in the curling, bobsleigh, skeleton and skating events – plus British number one skier Chemmy Alcott will be in action in the Women’s Downhill and Combined disciplines. And our young snowboard stars will be battling it out on Cypress Mountain: watch out for Kilner and Gillings!

Blue Riband start

The Alpine skiing events get going at Whistler first thing Saturday 13 February, with the traditional opener, the Men’s Downhill. World Cup leader and Swiss veteran, Didier Cuche is current favourite – but he’ll be closely followed by Michael Walchofer, Swiss team mate Carlo Janka and Canada’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis.

Sunday 14 February sees the Women’s Super Combined. [See our schedule for more here>>]

And snow conditions?

The 2010 Games has not been without some hiccups along the way, not least poor snowfall for one of the venues: Cypress Mountain. Rain and mild weather has been a persistent problem over the past few weeks, but the organisers have done their best to stockpile snow at the top of the mountain. Whistler-Blackcomb has no such worries with snow: they have received record snowfall to date, 20cm fresh in the past week and another 20cm expected overnight Friday – with the freezing level falling slowly from 1400m. There has been one problem though, which has affected training runs: FOG! They’ll be hoping this doesn’t interfere with Saturday’s Alpine start.


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