The Torch hits the slopes

By Jim Barr, SnowSeekers Inc.

Over the past two days, the Olympic Torch has been carried to some pretty stellar places and now, it’s been carried through the Canadian Rockies and into some pretty spectacular spaces.  Twenty-two years ago the Government of Alberta helped to open up Nakiska as part of the 1988 Olympics, an outstanding ski resort tucked away in Kananaskis country – it was the site yesterday of Olympic history, which incorporated a collection of up-an-upcoming athletes. The folks from Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, the owners of Nakiska, put on a great celebration

The return of the Olympic Flame to Nakiska was a triumphant one that included skiers from the Nakiska Ski Team. It was pretty cool to see them rip the slopes as they made their way down towards the Flame.  Over at Sunshine, the celebrations continued with the addition of a lasting 2010 legacy here in Banff.  Whistler Blackcomb has installed a temporary chair that will take people from the base of Creekside up to the finish line for the downhill events.  Afterwards, it will have a permanent home at Sunshine Village. 

“Sunshine has played host too many Olympic athletes who have trained here. With the installation of this chair, we help to continue that legacy,” said Sunshine’s president, Ralph Scurfield. “It was a partnership with Whistler Blackcomb that said, ‘OK, we will get the chair if you guys buy it once we are finished with it,’” said Scurfield, in a special celebration that welcomed the Olympic Flame to the slopes of Sunshine this morning. 

Sunshine has been known to be an environmentally friendly ski destination, having received multiple awards for its environmental efforts. The resort welcomes the new chair in May where it will replace the Strawberry chair, helping to enhance the visitor’s experience. For more on the new installation and for all the exciting details on Sunshine please click here.

Just up the road, a big party was happening on the slopes Lake Louise Ski Area – owner Charlie Locke dawned his chariot (a snow cat with a pretty impressive set up on the back so he could stand and wave at the crowds) to take the flame up the slopes of Louise. The folks at Louise had constructed a pretty stellar ski jump outfitted with the Olympic rings to welcome the Torch in style. Ski jumpers, a solid ski run with a collection of ski instructors and a crowd of admirers were all a part of the action. 

There were more than a few spectacular ice sculptures too, all in celebration for the Ice Magic events that are taking place this weekend at Lake Louise Village.

Make sure to catch the Travel Alberta Olympic Torch Relay videos on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/TravelAlbertaCanada

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