Local attends Winter Games
For some people, competing in the Olympics is a lifelong dream ﾖ endless hours of practicing their chosen sport for a chance on the podium.ﾠ For Laura Parquette, Communications Manager at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, just attending the Olympics has been a dream come true.ﾠ She returned to Snowshoe February 21 after spending a week near Vancouver at Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia.ﾠ
Whistler hosted the alpine skiing events - downhill skiing, ski jumping, bobsled, luge, cross country and nordic combined - while other events were held at venues closer to Vancouver.
ﾓIt was always my dream.ﾠ Ever since I was six-years-old, I wanted to go.ﾠ It was totally awesome,ﾔ Parquette said. Parquette said growing up she idolized Bob Costas, the sportscaster who has frontlined many Olympic broadcasts for NBC.
Whistler Blackcomb and Snowshoe Mountain are both resorts owned by Intrawest, so Parquette knew as early as 2007 that the games would be held there.ﾠ When it came time to make plans, she was able to capitalize on Intrawest employee perks - lift tickets and lodging discounts.ﾠ But it wasnﾒt all fun and Olympic Games.
ﾓI actually worked from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day. I stayed in staff housing and worked in the media hub, providing secondary media stories about the resort. Snowshoe was very gracious and allowed me to do this without taking paid leave.ﾔﾠ To keep up with her job at home, Parquette was up and on her Blackberry early every morning, making sure the marketing department at Snowshoe was running glitch-free.
She explained that ﾓsecondary media storiesﾔ are those that media use to fill in - facts and footage about the resort, the village, the courses, the mountain.
ﾓItﾒs absolutely huge. Itﾒs incredibly scenic,ﾔ she said of the resort.
She rode the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which spans the two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, a distance of about 2.75 miles, dangling more than 1,400 feet above ground at its highest point.ﾠ Parquette took one whole day to snowboard, and there was time to sightsee.
ﾓI didnﾒt see any live events, but they were being simulcast everywhere. I did see a live medal ceremony - when Bode Miller of the US was presented with the bronze in downhill skiing, she said.
She spoke of the controversial fence around the flame, and also about the weather conditions that have affected the participants and media. Vancouver is closer to the coast, and warmer weather did hamper the snow cover there.ﾠ Whistler Blackcomb is about 77 miles inland and had plenty of snow. Record snowfall, in fact, for November.
ﾓWhat you donﾒt realize is, itﾒs maybe 8,200 feet at the top of the mountain and conditions are great. But as you come down, the snow changes.ﾔ Weather is different up top than at the base, and it got slushy towards the bottom, she noted.ﾠ The mountain itself contributes to the weather and conditions.
Overall, Parquette is still fired up over her Olympic adventure, even after being home for nearly a week.
ﾓIﾒd recommend it to anyone!ﾔ she said.