The lower slopes of Blackcomb Mountain have been transformed into a world class venue as the resort of Whistler eagerly awaits the arrival of the sport’s best athletes for the FIS 2005 Snowboard World Championships presented by Nokia. The prestigious event will be held in North America for the first time ever as the world’s best snowboarders converge on Whistler for nine days of high-flying action.

All of the World Championship snowboarding action will be free to spectators beginning January 15 at Base II at Blackcomb Mountain where extensive slope improvements have been made to host the event including a new Super Pipe with lighting and snowmaking system upgrades. With over 15 million gallons of water used to produce a huge base of snow for the competitive venues at Base II of Blackcomb.

Whistler will host 650 athletes from over 40 countries who will compete in the “McDonald’s Halfpipe, “The Province Big Air, “Nissan Snowboard-Cross, “TELUS Parallel Slalom: and the “Parallel Giant Slalom for the title of World Champion. The snowboarding championship event, one of the biggest lead-up events to the 2010 Olympics for Whistler and the province of British Columbia, is also an important qualifying event for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

“The FIS Snowboard World Championships is a world-class event and you couldn’t ask for a better venue than Whistler for its first visit to North America, said Tom McIllfaterick, President of the Canadian Snowboard Federation. “The sport of snowboarding is enjoying phenomenal growth each year, and bringing the World Championships to B.C. will certainly add to the sport’s popularity.

Over 100 million viewers around the world are expected to tune in to the FIS 2005 Snowboard World Championships presented by Nokia through 150 hours of international broadcast coverage, which includes North American coverage on NBC, CBC, SRC, Rogers Sportsnet and the Outdoor Life Network (USA).

“This event promises to be one of the biggest sporting events, and parties, to ever hit Whistler, said Mark Taylor, Vice President of IMG Action Sports and President of the Organization Committee. “All eyes will be on the province of British Columbia in the next few years as it prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, and this World Championship event is a great way to showcase why it is world-famous.

In addition to nine days of world-class snowboarding action, the entire resort of Whistler will come alive with a village-wide expo, a feature concert with K-OS, one of Canada’s top acts, and an opening ceremonies featuring a community lantern parade and the “McDonald’s Rail Session, pitting Team Canada against a World Team.

Event Schedule
Saturday, January 15 Opening Ceremonies featuring the McDonald’s Rail Session
Sunday, January 16 Nissan Snowboard Cross
Tuesday, January 18 Parallel Giant Slalom
Wednesday, January 19 TELUS Parallel Slalom
Friday, January 21 The Province Big Air
Saturday, January 22 McDonald’s HalfPipe

Media are reminded to visit www.whistlerworlds.com for media credential information for the FIS 2005 Snowboard World Championships.