Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bike track set to be recycled in twist of Games legacy

Bike track set to be recycled in twist of Games legacy

Special to The Globe and Mail
July 8, 2008

VICTORIA -- A legacy from the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games - one of Canada's eight velodromes - is slated to be buried by tonnes of dirt and to resurface as a sports field. It's a recycling of facilities that 2010 Olympic Games hosts don't expect to carry out when it comes to their own legacies.

"Our whole plan is based on postgame uses," City of Richmond spokesman Ted Townsend said, of the 2010 speed-skating oval. "We really looked long and hard at the experience of other Olympic venues. Most admitted when they built facilities, they didn't consider legacies."

After the Winter Olympics finish, Richmond's $178-million centre will be converted to eight basketball-size courts, two ice rinks and a track and field zone where athletes can seriously train or simply have fun.

In Whistler, the Nordic centre, sliding centre and a portion of the athletes village will become the property of the Whistler Legacies Society after the 2010 Games. "We're being left this gift," Paul Shore, manager of the Whistler Legacies Society, says.

It's a gift that will keep giving: Everyone from high-level athletes to weekend warriors will be able to use Whistler's Olympic venues in perpetuity, he said.

But in the Victoria suburb of Colwood, Mayor Jody Twa said the town is going ahead with plans to bury the outdoor oval cycling track and replace it with an artificial field and a 1,500-seat stadium, forecast to cost $4.8-million.

More at the Globe and Mail

Really disappointing to be losing this legacy, one of few velodromes in Canada. Here in Victoria we already lost one of the all weather tracks in place of more artificial turfs. If they want more turfs, I say build them somewhere else, don't destroy perfectly good existing facilities.

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