Posted by: PPHR | March 22, 2010

Whistler Medals Plaza to become permanent park – Construction to begin in the spring

Hundreds of spectators and millions via the CTV broadcast watched the 2010 Winter Games come to a close at the Whistler Medals Plaza last night.

With nightly concerts and Victory Ceremonies throughout the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Whistler Medals Plaza was buzzing. But the role of the Whistler Medals Plaza has not ended.

The Whistler Medals Plaza will be converted into an outdoor park by the summer of 2011. It’s just one of more than 25 different legacies of the 2010 Winter Games.

Following the Games, the plaza will be transformed into an outdoor gathering place for residents and visitors, featuring an open grass lawn, amphitheatre seating, an expanded children’s inclusive play area with a water feature, and outdoor performance spaces.

A performance pavilion is one of many new features on the horizon. It will have a flexible roof and be large enough to allow gatherings of up to 550 people seated or 1,000 people standing.

Changes begin as soon as the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) gives the plaza back to the municipality on April 30.

Over the next year or so, a large lawn will be installed, the Olympic cauldron relocated, the playground double in size, and a series of stairs created.

The plaza will also include a Legacy Plaza, featuring Olympic and Paralympic memorabilia as well as installations to recognize the contributions of athletes, medal winners, volunteers, and partner organizations involved in Whistler’s journey to host the 2010 Winter Games. Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger who died on Feb. 12, will also be recognized.

With the Games as the catalyst for the timing and much of the funding, Whistler Medals Plaza is well on its way to becoming the public gathering and event space envisioned for this area as part of the community plan.

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