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The Test Events For Vancouver 2010


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Test events are largely paid for by VANOC, except when there is already a local organising committee that has delivered the event previously. Whistler used to be a regular on the World Cup until too many fog cancellations in 1995. Regardless it hosts Nor-Am and Canadian championships pretty regularly and the local club has a base of 800+ volunteers (Weasels).

Next official sport event is short track in Sept/Oct this year. Then a bunch in Jan-March 09. There are a number of other world cup calibre events at some venues, but not all such events are official sport events.

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Edmonton to play host to Olympic curling trials

Vicki Hall, edmontonjournal.com

Published: Sunday, March 09, 2008

WINNIPEG - The game went into extra ends, but Edmonton finally hit the button and won the right to host the 2009 Olympic Curling Trials.

The Canadian Curling Association is set to announce later this week that Edmonton will welcome the best shotmakers from coast to coast Dec. 6 to 13, 2009 at Rexall Place.

The event, also known as the Roar of the Rings, will feature eight men's teams and eight women's teams fighting to represent Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"I think this is fantastic for everyone in Edmonton and the rest of Alberta," said Marcel Rocque, who plays lead for Randy Ferbey. "People in Edmonton are going to be treated to something they've never seen before and may not see again for a very long time."

Sources say organizers signed off on the final agreement in February during the Boston Pizza Cup Alberta men's curling championship.

Kamloops, B.C.m also bid on the event and offered more money up front with $1.2 million going directly to the cash-strapped CCA in hopes of keeping the trials in the same province as the Olympics themselves.

The Edmonton bid came in around $1 million up front, but Rexall Place seats 16,839 spectators, almost three times the number that can cram into the Kamloops arena.

"I think Edmonton will do a great job," Saskatchewan skip Pat Simmons said in a break from the action at the Tim Hortons Brier. "They've proven themselves from the last Brier there and the worlds and all other kinds of events.

"I think Edmonton is close to the capital of curling as you can get. You might have at least three teams from there, and how's that going to be for ticket sales?"

The hometown crowd should have plenty to cheer for with Edmonton likely represented by three world-class teams on the men's side: Kevin Martin, Randy Ferbey and Kevin Koe in the eight-team event.

Some curling insiders argue the calibre of play is higher at the Canadian trials than the Olympics.

"It's like putting together the last eight years of Stanley Cup champions and having them all play in the same tournament," Rocque said. "The pressure is enormous with every shot. If you make one mistake against these teams, they'll bury you."

Four men's teams and four women's teams will advance directly to the trials in Edmonton. The other four will be decided at a pre-trials event in Prince George, B.C.

Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones has already qualified on the women's side. If Ontario's Glenn Howard wins the Brier, he will lock up the first spot for the men.

The 2005 Olympic curling trials were held in Halifax. Three months later, Canada's Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Russ Howard and Jamie Korab managed to win gold an ocean away in Pinerolo, Italy. Shannon Kleibrink , Amy Nixon, Glenys Bakker and Christine Keshen of Calgary captured bronze.

Edmonton set the Brier attendance record in 2005 with 280,985 fans streaming through the wickets. Just last year, Howard captured the world men's curling championship at Rexall Place with a record attendance figure of 184,973 throughout the event.

"Edmonton is the best place for the trials," said Craig Savill, the lead for Howard's Ontario foursome. "I think Edmonton will pack the place."

Ontario second Brent Laing can't figure out why there was any question surrounding Edmonton's bid in the first place.

"Edmonton is a better fit than Kamloops," he said. "Especially when it looks like you'll have three Edmonton teams in the event."

But that's no guarantee with a plethora of elite men's teams - including Gushue, Howard, Simmons and Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton - chasing the dream of representing Canada, at home, in the Olympics.

"I think the pressure is on us now to get to the trials," Ferbey said. "Being a spectator here in Winnipeg is fine, but there's no way I want to be a spectator in Edmonton.

"Edmonton deserves this. Edmonton is the undisputed capital of curling in Canada, and I think it's the only natural place for the trials to be."

vhall@thejournal.canwest.com

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Second, actually. First was the Alpine World Cup at Whistler Creekside in February.

Next one is the Nordic festival (x-country, combined, ski jump) in January, followed closely by freestyle skiing and snowboard at Cypress, bobsleigh/skeleton and luge at the Whistler Sliding Centre and the 4 Continents Figure Skating at the Coliseum all (partially or entirely) in Feb 09.

And then....

Curling, wheelchair curling, para-alpine, ice sledge hockey, biathlon and para-biathlon/cross country and speed skating in/around March 09.

And then the ice hockey one in late summer 09.

The first test event for Vancouver 2010 has finished at the Pacific Coliseum.

Link: CBC: Canada earns 8 medals at short-track World Cup

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  • 2 months later...

Next week will be a busy one for Vancouver and Whistler, in terms of test events. At Vancouver, the 2009 ISU Four Continents figure skating event comes to town. Meanwhile, the bobsleigh and skeleton World Cup event will be held at Whistler. Both of them start on February 2nd.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First, it looks like the German team likes the Whistler bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track.

Link: CBC: Frustration for Hollingsworth, Kelly in Skeleton

However, the Canadian figure skating seems to be doing well, in preparation for both Los Angeles and Vancouver 2010.

Link 1: CBC: Virtue, Moir close in on Four Continents Title

Link 2: CBC: Canada dominating Four Continents

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Well, Patrick Chan won the men's competition at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

As for other news:

Link 1: CBC: Lueders Misses Medal Podium at 4-man Bobsleigh World Cup

Link 2: CBC: Heil, Bilodeau Grab Moguls Gold

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BC Transit failed miserably at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. People waited up to 1 hour and 10 minutes to get on a #135 Express from Hastings and Renfrew to downtown. There were no extra buses added to the route. 5 articulated buses came on their regular shedule and each was loaded to absolute capacity and beyond. There were also long lines for the east bound #135 and at south and west bound stops for the #16. Out of towners must have been "very impressed"!!! Many people just gave up and called a taxi!

Although the event was well run, there were also inadequate food stands. For at least part of the competition only one main stand (White Spot) was open. People waited up to 30 minutes to get served. Eventually other stands did open.

This was a test event for this venue. BC Transit gets an "F". Food Services gets a "C-".

There was a testing of the ticket holder screening on Sunday. It was strickly on a volunteer basis. No one was required to go through the screening.

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One other point about the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. The public announcer was terrible! During the Gala event she announced the Chinese Pairs Team from Japan!!! And several other times paused not seeming to know where the skater was from. It was not the first time she got the country wrong ... she also did it at least once during the practice sessions. Completley inexcusable. They had better find someone else for the Olympics! There is an excellent women announcer in Canada that usually does the Canadian Championships ... they should have used her!

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The next Vancouver 2010 test event will be for the curling venue TWICE. First, it will be the World Wheelchair Curling Championships from February 21st to 28th. The second one will be the World Junior Curling Championships from March 5th to 15th.

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