Pre-Olympic event has Olympic opportunity

Two of the most sought-after tickets at the Olympics — a Canadian women’s hockey game — will be up for grabs as part of a busy two days of pre-Olympic festivities in the Comox Valley.

Susan Kelsey

Two of the most sought-after tickets at the Olympics — a Canadian women’s hockey game — will be up for grabs as part of a busy two days of pre-Olympic festivities in the Comox Valley.

The Olympic Spirit events, held Feb. 6 and 7 throughout the Valley, include an Olympic-calibre biathlon race, free swimming and skating, concerts, tailgate party, a bobsled race and, the marquee event, the Sage Hills women’s Olympic hockey exhibition game.

Tickets to the game, between China and Sweden, sold out within hours, but tickets are still available at the Sid Williams Theatre to Team Sweden’s practice Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sport Centre.

At the practice, The Eagle radio station will give away two tickets to Canada’s Olympic round-robin game against Slovakia on Feb. 13 in Vancouver.

“Unless you’re lucky enough to already be going, winning these tickets is the only opportunity left to see Canada’s women’s Olympic hockey team play in person,” says Susan Kelsey, Chair, Comox Valley Spirit of BC Community Committee. “We are very excited to showcase Olympic-calibre hockey in our own backyard as part of our Spirit of BC Week celebrations.”

Tickets to the open practice are $5 and available at the Sid Williams Theatre box office.

While the actual exhibition game is sold out to the public, Kelsey says there is another way of getting tickets — becoming a sponsor. For as little as $250, event sponsors get a ticket to the exhibition game and their business’ name associated with a world-class event.

Contact Comox Valley Economic Development at 250-334-2427 for more information.

Several businesses have already stepped up to host the two teams during their stay. Pacific Coastal Airlines is the unofficial carrier for both teams, Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community and the Old House Village Hotel and Spa are providing accommodation, and the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa is hosting meetings, meals and downtime.

Besides the international hockey there is lots happening on the weekend.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is hosting three races at its Nordic area on Feb. 6, beginning with a demonstration biathlon race between the international Olympic teams using the ski resort for pre-games training.

Cadet-level biathletes will also compete, followed by a Coastal Cup cross-country ski race for recreational skiers.

Off the snow, Comox Valley Olympians will parade down Courtenay’s Fifth Street at 11:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony at the Courtenay and District Museum.

There will also be a free skate from 3:15 to 5 p.m. at the Sports Centre Arena No. 2 and a free swim from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Aquatic Centre.

In anticipation of Sunday’s China-Sweden hockey game at 12:30 p.m., there will be a family-friendly tailgate party at the Sports Centre between 9 a.m. and noon.

“If you have tickets to the game, it’s an opportunity to make a day of it,” says Kelsey. “If you don’t, it’s a good place to get into the spirit and have fun.”

The tailgate party will include a morning-long Sunrise Rotary Club pancake breakfast and a hockey skills contest hosted by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings hockey team for minor league players. There will also be facepainting, crafts and games for kids.

The Bobsled on Wheels Race is at 10:30, with a $250 prize for fastest sled and best decorated sled. The Vancouver Island MusicFest, in partnership with Comox Valley Spirit of BC Community Committee, is presenting two shows of the spirit-raising gospel of The Sojourners, one at 9:30 and one at 11:15.

For more information on all the activities, go to 2010CVSpiritEvents.com.

Kelsey says the weekend of activities is a way of bringing the Olympics to the Comox Valley.

“Not everyone can get over to Whistler and Vancouver to experience the event in person, so we thought we’d bring the Games to the community,” she says.

— Comox Valley Economic

Development

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