What is the Olympic Winter Games?
Nearly 86 years ago, it was a week in Chamonix that drew 258 athletes
from 16 countries, 10,000 spectators and an eye-popping Canadian hockey
team that scored 122 goals.
Today, it is a 17-day spectacle of 5,500 athletes and officials from 80 countries; some 75 million visitors and 3 billion TV viewers; and an eye-popping operating budget of $1.63 billion. But somehow, decade after decade,
dollar after dollar, the spirit of Chamonix remains in the Games. Probably
no hockey team will score 122 goals. But then again, maybe it will. Probably
no American skier will sweep the alpine events — or maybe... Somehow,
when the Olympic Winter Games come around, anything seems possible.
“There is no comparison to the energy and the atmosphere surrounding
the Olympics,” said Bode Miller the day he announced his return to the
U.S. Ski Team.
And he’s right. Sure, for some ski racers and fans, the Games are just a blip
in a long season of training, travel and points. But as kids, many of us were
captivated by winter Olympic magic long before we knew about the World
Cup. Most of us knew about medals before crystal globes.
So whether you’re traveling to Vancouver or planning on letting Bob Costas talk you through every gate and double axel of the Games, we’ve got
the inside scoop on what to look for and where you’ll find it. Associate editor Eric Williams ventures into the Cultural Olympiad and nightlife scene
while senior editor Hank McKee analyzes the Dave Murray Downhill and
nordic expert Peter Graves scopes out the Whistler Olympic Park.
What is the Olympic Winter Games? With Ski Racing, it’s going to be a
helluva good time.
A special Ski Racing look ahead to the Olympic Winter Games, February 12 to 28
Nightlife Fancy meeting you here BY ERIC WILLIAMS Let’s face it: Whistler and Vancouver know how to party. (Hey, if Utah could
show the world a good time, you know the continent’s No. 1 après ski town is
going to go all out). When the sun sets on the Games each night Whistler and
Vancouver will heat up with medals ceremonies, live concerts and more than
a few parties. Some nightlife know-it-alls have given us a sneak peak at where
athletes and fans will be living it up in February.
The Whistler area, host to the alpine skiing, nordic skiing and sliding events,
will have its own Athlete Olympic Village and Medals Plaza. Evening entertainment, for athletes and fans alike, will be provided by Whistler Live, augmenting the area’s well-established ski town comforts.
“Pretty much any day you go skiing you can come down the hill and find a
place to grab a beer and party in your ski boots until the end of the day, that’s
not an issue,” says Holly Fraughton, arts and entertainment editor at Whistler news magazine Pique.
Closed to the public during the Games but open to athletes and officials,
Dusty’s Bar & Grill sits at the foot of the Dave Murray Downhill and is home
to the locals’ après-ski scene. “It’s a pretty popular pub where everyone goes
for après sessions on any normal given day, so I can see that being a popular
spot if the athletes are so inclined,” says Fraughton. Dusty’s is equipped with
a large screen to watch competition, live music stage and an ample lounge
Another high-end hub for athletes and Games goers will be the Player’s
Chophouse, which is owned by several NFL and NHL athletes as well as skeleton racer Jeff Pain and gold-medal curler Brad Gushue. (Cont’d on p. 36)