The mayor of Sun Peaks has confirmed the community is in the running to co-host events if the joint Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games is successful.
Al Raine told KTW the resort municipality has been in talks with the feasibility team for the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and four host First Nations for the past eight months on the possibility of moving events — such as snowboarding and freestyle skiing — from Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver to Sun Peaks.
In the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Olympic Winter Games, officials had to transport snow from Manning Park — three hours east of Vancouver — to Cypress Mountain to cover bare slopes due to unseasonably warm temperatures in February of that year.
“They [the COC feasibility team] have told us they don’t want to take on the risk of global warming and the weather conditions at Cypress and [are] definitely looking for another venue and we are the venue of choice,” Raine said.
Radio NL first reported on the possibility of Sun Peaks being part of a successful Games bid.
The municipality’s conversations with the COC team have covered the feasibility of an athletes village in Sun Peaks and the suitability of the slopes, but the final report, expected in mid-June, will determine whether Sun Peaks is included in the 2030 Olympic bid package, according to Raine.
“The feasibility team has been here a number of times and they’ve looked at the potential slopes on Mount Morrisey and decided they would be ideal for hosting those events,” Raine said, adding there is land available at the foot of the mountain for an athletes village.
According to Raine, while athletes would stay in Sun Peaks, visitors, volunteers and others would stay in neighbouring Kamloops, which he said the feasibility team sees as “an integral part of the Sun Peaks proposal.”
“It’s kind off a Kamloops-Sun Peaks combination they’re looking at,” Raine said, noting the Tournament Capital has also been involved in these conversations.
Raine said the four Vancouver-based host First Nations have also discussed the plan with four local First Nations: Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, Neskonlith, Adams Lake and Little Shuswap Lake.
“Quite a bit of feasibility work has been done so far,” Raine said.
The idea of Sun Peaks hosting some Olympic events is both exciting and daunting at the same time, Raine said, noting he’s not getting his hopes too high.
“It’s a big commitment. A lot of things have to come together,” he said.
If the bid became a reality, Raine said it would change the future scope of work for the municipal council, local developers and Sun Peaks Resort.
Raine said there are still many approvals to secure before Sun Peaks hosting part of the Olympics could become a reality, the first being officially included as a venue in the Vancouver-Whistler package, which would then need to be greenlit by the COC — which Raine doesn’t believe is considering other cities as Canada’s bid — before winning over the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC isn’t expected to decide which country plays host to the 2030 Olympic Games until some time next year in 2023.
Sun Peaks is the second-largest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler-Blackcomb.
Others possibly seeking to host the 2030 Games include Salt Lake City, Utah, Sapporo, Japan, and the Pyrenees region of Spain.