Lindsey Vonn, who just moments ago took Olympic Gold for the U.S. in women's downhill skiing, did so up at Whistler-Blackcomb mountain. She started from the No. 17 position and completed the long, 2,939-metre course in one minute, 44.19 seconds. She was 0.56 seconds ahead of her teammate Julia Mancuso, who was the 10th skier down, and a full 1.46 seconds ahead of the bronze medal winner Elisabeth Goergl of Austria.
Whistler plays host during these 2010 Winter Olympics to some of the most exciting sports of the competitive games: Bobsleigh, Luge and Men's and Women's downhill Alpine skiing and . It bills itself as the "best ski and snowboard resort in North America." It is also playing host mountain resort for the Paralympic games.
Locals will ask, "You know what they say about Whistler?" And then they'll tell you: "The billionaires kicked out the millionaires."
Whistler-Blackcomb is celebrating more than the Olympics this year. It is also celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Residents from the local Resort Municipality of Whistler are working to reduce biodiversity loss and protect habitats.
Biodiversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities. This weakens the ability living systems, upon which we depend, to provide us with food, fuel, medicine and other life essentials.
Whistler has a biodiversity challenge. You can check it out at: Whistler
And if you are a skiier as well as an Olympic enthusiast, keep in mind that more than 90 per cent of Whistler Blackcomb's terrain will remain open to recreation skiers during the Olympic Games.
The Olympics' participating countries and also Canada's Provinces are all hosting hospitality houses for the athletes, their friends, families and fans. Today is Alberta Day and the Province is running the Alberta Train from Vancouver to Whistler every day during the games, to help eliminate CO2 emissions from vehicle exhaust pipes that might otherwise be driven up and down the mountain. Home to more than just the country's repository of Natural Gas reserves, Alberta's cities of Calgary and Edmonton both have healthy environmental agendas. In addition, the Alberta House in Vancouver has been built with environmentally friendly design. The reclaimed wood lattices that adorn the outside of the building will all be donated and re-purposed once the building is turned back over to the original owner. The owner, a native Albertan, is also pleased with the interior upgrades the House designers bestowed on her business; upgrades that will be left intact once the Olympic Team packs up and leaves.
Austria has gone all out up in Whistler with its hospitality house. It built the Austria Passive House as one of only 12 passive houses in all of North America. Their mission, "to enable the future with the help of innovative and ecological ideas."
The 2,700 square foot house was inspired by traditional building of the country's Alpine Regions, is a south-facing structure and is covered with a gable roof. The passive house was built using ecologically sustainable materials and without any glues, using instead diagonally dowelled fir structures.
The patented DD-Diagonal Dowel system is an example of the superb craftsmanship on display throughout the house. Natural insulating materials such as cork and sheep's wool are used for the houses, windows and doors are made out of wood. These factors contribute to the top-quality ventilating system that's at the core of every APG house and offers a "climatic spa" healthy living environment.
The Austria House was built as a "Legacy House" meaning that after the Olympic games are over, it will be handed over to the Resort Municipality of Whistler to become the home of the Whistler Nordic Ski club and the Whistler Outdoor Recreational Cycling Association (WORCA) in the summer. The Austrian Passive House Group and the Resort Municipality of Whistler worked together to develop this Legacy House. It expects to be a role model in Canada insofar as the house's energy efficiency goes and claims to represent an "archetype of ecological architecture."
And over on that Other Mountain (Cypress)
Everyone tuned into the Olympics is excitedly anticipating U.S. Snowboarding magi Shaun White's upcoming run later today. On Monday, America's Seth Wescott won, in an upset, the men's Olympic snowboard cross gold medal. Mike Robertson of Canada took Silver in the same competition.
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