World's top bobsled, luge, and skeleton racers will compete in Whistler this year

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      There's plenty of excitement in Whistler this week for two reasons.

      Lots of snow has meant that Whistler Blackcomb is able to resume skiing operations on Whistler Mountain today. The season opens with resumption of the Whistler Village Gondola and the Creekside Gondola. Tomorrow, it's Blackcomb Mountain's turn as the company will allow skiers onto the Excalibur Gondola, Excelerator Express, Wizard Express, Solar Coaster, and Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

      It's just in time for the Whistler Film Festival, which runs from next Wednesday (November 30) to December 4. The opening film will be La La Land—an old-fashioned romantic musical featuring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

      But the start of alpine skiing and the possible arrival of some Hollywood stars aren't the resort's only attractions.

      This year, fans of bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge can also check out some of these sports' greatest athletes at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

      According to the centre’s website, it will host the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation’s North American Cup from November 23 to 26. This competition will feature teams from 18 nations and, best of all, admission is free. Events will include women’s skeleton, men’s skeleton, women’s bobsleigh, two-man bobsleigh, and four-man bobsleigh.

      Although it’s entertaining watching the competitors travel at insane speeds around the track, races are often won or lost in the first 50 metres. So keep an eye on the start. Those who get away the quickest often end up on the podium.

      If you can’t make it to the IBSF’s North American Cup, why not check out the best bobsledders and skeleton racers in the world? On December 2 and 3, the Whistler Sliding Centre will host the BMW IBSF World Cup Bob & Skeleton 2016. Canada’s national team still includes two-time Olympic gold medallist Kaillie Humphries, who began her career in 2002. This will be the first of eight World Cup races in the 2016-17 season.

      A third major event on the calendar for the Whistler Sliding Centre is the Viessmann Luge World Cup and Viessmann Team Relay World Cup, scheduled for December 9 and 10. More than 120 luge athletes will be at the resort for the third event on the World Cup tour.

      Luge and skeleton racers travel at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour. But they’re slowpokes, though, compared to top-ranked bobsleigh athletes, who reach speeds of about 150 kilometres per hour.