The Olympics are coming to Kamloops. Sort of.
The Nov. 19-22 Fairness in Sport conference will act as a get-together and training session for the VANOC anti-doping team that will be collecting urine and blood from athletes for testing at a temporary laboratory in the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Kamloops — marketed as Canada’s tournament capital — is interesting on a number of levels. It’s the biggest city near Sun Peaks Resort, home of Grenoble 1968 skiing gold medalist Nancy Greene-Raine, one of Canada’s newest senators. Sun Peaks is the autumn training home of the Austrian alpine ski team, whose cross-country skiing cousins are notorious. When blood doping equipment was found at Salt Lake 2002, two Austrian cross-country skiers and two team officials were banned for Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010.
B.C.’s governing party traditionally wins a seat in Kamloops, where the civic motto is Salus et Opus (health and wealth). The announcement was the first Friday policy event for Premier Gordon Campbell since winning his third term on May 12.
The B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Contractors Association was announced as the conference sponsor because its president Jack Davidson wants “safe, drug-free work environments.” VANOC construction executive vice-president Dan Doyle is listed as an honorary member.
The first workplace death in the buildup to the 2010 Games was on June 12, 2006. Blaster Gary Michael Greer, 45, was killed in an explosives mishap on the 10 km Callaghan Valley Road construction site. The road links Highway 99 with the $120 million Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan. Yes, that’s the place where the International Olympic Committee and VANOC won’t let women ski jump next February.
Greer’s employer Murrin Construction was fined $216,000 by WorkSafeBC for gross negligence. The WorkSafeBC investigation said “the expected level of impairment as outlined in the toxicology opinion may have influenced the blaster’s ability to make clear decisions and exercise sound judgments.”
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.