Deadline approaches to save iconic Calgary ski jump complex from being closed down
This weekend the Canadian National Ski Jumping championships will be held at Canada Olympic Park — and it could be the last time you ever see jumpers using the Ski Jump Complex.
After this weekend’s competition, WinSport, the organization that owns and operates Canada Olympic Park, is going forward with an agreement made three years ago to decommission the Ski Jump Complex on Oct. 31.
Ski Jumping Canada is looking for $340,000 each year going forward to keep the three lower bowl jumps operating.
Todd Stretch, chairman of Ski Jumping Canada, says talks at all levels of government are ongoing to find a funding solution by the end of the month.
“We’re working really hard right now, 100 per cent, with all levels of government, to find that funding and sponsors,” Stretch said. “For us, shutting down the hills will mean the eventual termination of two national sport organizations, Ski Jumping Canada and Nordic Combined Ski Canada. It’s important. We’re a facilities-dependent sport.”
WATCH BELOW: (From March 2018) WinSport following through with plan to shut down ski jumps
Natasha Bodnarchuk, a 20-year-old national team member, learned to ski jump at the complex when she was nine years old.
“I try to be optimistic. Sometimes I try to not think about it,” Bodnarchuk said. “It’s obviously really upsetting. If this facility were to shut down it would be a travesty.”
WinSport says that if Ski Jumping Canada funds the operating costs for the next two years and bring the jumps up to standards by Oct. 31, it will operate the three smaller bowl jumps.
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