It was a world-class facility in its day, but now some three decades years after it was built for the 1988 Olympics, the Calgary luge, bobsleigh, skeleton facility is in dire need of repairs.
Canada only has two sliding tracks and the Calgary track closed in spring facing $25 million in repairs.
WinSport Canada Olympic Park CEO, Barry Heck, said the facility has only received $17 million of the needed funds from federal and provincial sources.
The top five corners were demolished this week, and many athletes wonder if the track will ever be reopened.
Heck said the Olympic Park was counting on money to come in order to present the 2016 winter games but Calgarians voted against a hosting bid.
He said the organisation remains committed to a rejuvenated track but plans will only be firmed up at the end of the fiscal year.
Funds were made available to take out the top section of the sliding track to enable construction of a “slope style” course and other freestyle skiing terrain as part of a winning bid for the 2020 to 2022 X-Games.
For some the closing of the sliding track has meant the end of their careers. The Calgary track near the city made it easy to live, train, and work there. They say travelling to Whistler, British Columbia to the only other track is not viable.
Coaches and sliding associations say the location of the track near the city made recruiting future medal winners easier.
- CBC: N. Valleau: Oct 10: Winsport begins demolition
- CBC player: (video) Oct 11/19: Athletes rally as demolition begins
- Calgary Herald: A.Smith: Oct 10/19: WinSport faces $8million funding gap
- CBC: S.Rieger: Mar 3/10: Lugers slide on Calgary track maybe for the last time
- CBC: D.Anderson: Feb 6/19: WinSport says it needs millions more to keep sliding track open