Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Go Vancouver! Go Whistler! 2010 Winter Olympics

Olympic Pride in Vancouver

A same-sex marriage mecca and host of Western Canada’s biggest Pride Parade, Vancouver has a long reputation for embracing the LGBT community. The upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games are no exception. When Vancouver welcomes the world this February, for the first time in Olympic history LGBT athletes will have a place to call their own. Pride Houses, with locations in downtown Vancouver and the Whistler ski resort, will provide a space for athletes, as well as friends, family and Olympic fans, to socialize during the Games.

"Homophobia is still very prevalent in sports," says Dean Nelson, an organizer of the Pride Houses and Whistler's annual Winter Pride festival. "Pride House is a pavilion that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness... open to all people regardless of sexual identity or sexual preference."

The Whistler Pride House, in Whistler’s Pan Pacific Hotel, will be equipped with big-screen TVs for watching Olympic events and will feature music, film screenings and wine and food tastings. The Vancouver house, located in downtown’s Qmunity queer resource center, will offer workshops on health and immigration. Its satellite celebration site – housed in Score, a popular bar in the heart of the Davie Street gay village – will be the place to meet up and enjoy the Olympic party.

"We anticipate the Pride House will be a legacy that Vancouver and Whistler will leave for future Olympic destinations," Nelson says

PS Dean gave Dee a tour of the olympic park area a year ago as preparations were underway to transform the village.

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