Olympics

From Athlete Housing to Resident Housing

Whistler holds a special place in the hearts of the people who live, work and play here, and a competitive position within the international destination resort market. There is no other opportunity that draws the attention of the world to the same extent and with such compelling ideals as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Games have the capacity to inspire people of all ages, prompt community celebration, foster unity, embrace diversity and instill a genuine sense of pride. They represent excellence and achievement in human endeavour, and are a source of inspiration, empowerment and partnership.

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Strategic Design Parameters

  • The Games mode master plan was developed to meet the IOC requirements and the strategic design parameters needed for the Athletes’ Village.
  • The Athletes’ Village was designed, and constructed in order to ensure a successful Games experience. The village provided the first impression of the Whistler facilities to most athletes and was where they spent most of their time.
  • The complexities of village design included the application of International Olympic Committee guidelines in combination with individual operational requirements and physical development limitations of the site. The 24 hour-a-day operational timeframe adds additional challenges that are not necessarily evident at the sporting venues.
  • Athletes Villages are generally broken into two distinct zones – the International Zone and the Residential Zone. The Residential Zone is a restricted area where National Olympic Committees (NOCs) relax and prepare for competition out of the public eye. The International Zone is where accredited VIPs, invited guests and the media are free to access with appropriate accreditation and where NOCs can meet their guests and enjoy entertainment and shopping facilities.

In addition to the International Zone and Residential Zone, there are two other major areas providing support spaces – the Transport Zone and the Village Operations Zone.  For security reasons, vehicles other than accredited service/in-venue transport vehicles are not permitted entry to the village, which means that transport facilities will be located around the village perimeter.

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Accommodation Strategy

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Developing the accommodation strategy for Games time provided special challenges at the village. The need to meet IOC accommodations criteria while also meeting the needs of the resident housing market was a difficult task. In order to efficiently accommodate the number of athletes requested by VANOC a program was developed so that several athletes could be housed in each type of unit. This was accomplished in several ways:

  • Bedrooms were designed larger than normal as per IOC standards so that two athletes could be accommodated comfortably.
  • Kitchens were not installed. By installing the kitchens after the exclusive use period, the kitchen area could be utilized during the Games as an additional bedroom or lounge area.
  • Temporary walls were installed in the living and dining areas providing additional bedrooms. In some cases the garages were finished with heat windows and carpeting and utilized as bedrooms.
  • Extra bathrooms were installed to meet IOC standards for the number of athletes staying in each housing unit.
  • This program allowed up to 12 athletes to be accommodated in the townhomes. The temporary walls and carpeting were removed following the Games and much of the material was recycled. The additional bathrooms were a selling feature to the end purchasers.
  • The original planning targets set in 2002 were to provide accommodations for approximately 2,000 athletes and primary team officials. In the spring of 2009, the IOC requested that additional support officials be housed within the village, increasing the target to over 3,000 athletes and officials.

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Overlay

Irrespective of the ultimate form and scale of the permanent housing program, the Athletes’ Village during Games mode required temporary overlay work to ensure the Village was suitable for the purpose of accommodating the athlete’s needs. The overlay consisted of several temporary structures including a logistics and warehouse facility, a commersary capable of providing food service, a media centre, a polyclinic, retail shops and a reception plaza. In addition to these core facilities, offices, workshops and athlete service centres were installed throughout the site. The Overlay was removed following the Games.

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The Olympic Legacy

When the 2010 Winter Olympic Games came to Whistler, Cheakamus Crossing welcomed over 3200 athletes into its neighbourhood. For 16 days, the excitement and energy of the world’s biggest athletic spectacle ran throughout the community. That legacy will live on in Cheakamus Crossing, from the athletic centre that continues to support amateur and professional sports, to housing the residents of a community that values adventure and activity. It was Whistler’s love of the outdoors and dedication to active lifestyle that brought the Olympic Games here. Cheakamus Crossing hopes to continue those ideals moving forward into the future.

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