Simon Fraser University

Olympic bonus for Burnaby campus

Mar 07, 2002 , vol. 23, no. 5

By Marianne Meadahl
If the Olympics come to town in 2010, SFU could become an immediate winner.

The university is the preferred site of a speed skating oval if the Vancouver/Whistler bid to host the 2010 Olympic winter games is successful. While a decision on who will get the games is still more than a year away, Wilf Wedmann, director of athletics and recreational services, can't help but let his imagination glide ahead a little.

“This is not only about a facility,” says Wedmann. “It's about a variety of potential enhancements to the university's student services and studies, and an innovative repositioning of SFU athletics.”

SFU is taking a leadership role in the development of the facility's concept, pending a decision by the Olympic committee on the bid, expected in July, 2003, says Bill Krane, chair of SFU's 2010 Olympic oval committee. The committee will produce a memorandum of agreement by the end of April and have a comprehensive agreement in place by the end of November.

Krane, associate VP-academic, says a draft Olympic oval vision paper has been developed to determine how the facility can be used.

Wedmann says besides providing new space for fitness and intramural activities, the facility could house a sport institute of interdisciplinary study, which could draw from the such departments as kinesiology, psychology, education, business and others. “This would allow us to expand our physiotherapy department's services, improve our varsity sports' training opportunities, and serve as a Canadian high performance training centre,” Wedmann says.

While an exact location has yet to be determined, the facility would be located within the vicinity of the existing gyms and running track. Design features could incorporate the art and culture of First Nations people of the area, notes Krane.

Other committee members include Wedmann, Laurie Summers, director, academic planning; Ron Marteniuk, special adviser to the VP-academic; Rick Johnson, associate VP-administration; Lee Gavel, director of facilities management, Chris Arnet, director of fund development, university advancement; psychology professor David Cox; kinesiologist Wade Parkhouse; and SFU graduate and former Olympian Daniel Igali.