Aiming For The Podium

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Thanks to the generous support of Joey Gibbons and his Team at Buffalo Bills in Whistler, the athletes and parents of Canada’s “next generation” of alpine ski racers aiming for the World Cup, are hosting a fundraiser the evening of December 27th – 8:00pm.

100% of funds raised will go to the athletes who are looking to follow in the tracks of our remarkable champions including Rob Boyd, Dave Murray, Britt & Mike Janyk and many others from Whistler and area who have proudly represented Canada at the highest level of alpine ski racing – the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

There are tough financial challenges with a significant shortfall to see the season through. This is a Team effort led by the athletes and parents to rally support and enable this group of talented athletes their chance to gain valuable experience. We are all grateful to the numerous individuals and corporations who have already stepped up to help us out.

But the job is not done, yet.

Please come and join the athletes and many other ski team alumni who are pitching in to help give the “next generation” the chance to follow in the footsteps of the tremendous legacy Canada enjoys in the speed events of downhill and superG.

December 27th – 8pm
Buffalo Bills, 4122 Village Green, Whistler Canada

For tickets: showpass.com/aimingforthepodium

For information: buffalobills.ca

To those outside of the Whistler area, if you would like to make a contribution to help the Team, please send a note via Facebook messenger and I can share how to make a donation.

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We are still winners.

It was a healthy debate, full of passion. We pushed and prodded the merits of hosting a major sporting event. And while the outcome may not have been what many would have liked, the topic of sport – specifically Olympic and Paralympic sport, took centre stage.

A decision was reached. And sport carries on.

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Photo credit: Malcolm Carmichael, Alpine Peak Photography

The sport community is so much more than just the Games. While the discussion raged on, Calgary was hosting the opening Short Track Speed Skating World Cup of the season at the Olympic Oval. Biathletes were battling it out at the Canmore Nordic Centre, in time trails to determine who will make up the World Cup and IBU Cup Teams.

And closest to my heart, alpine ski racers were putting final polish to more than six months of preparation. Our local mountains are alive with athletes, training to the west of us – Nakiska, Panorama, Norquay, Lake Louise – and hundreds more down in Colorado.

They had their hopes up. Who wouldn’t want to have a major event at home? But we move on.

This is a World Championship year. An event tougher than the Olympic Winter Games, as is every single World Cup event. So the effort must be invested, the senses sharpened and a relentless effort – every day, every week for the next fourteen – to aim to be the best.

It is very hard to convey the flavour of what our elite athletes invest to aim for the podium, to aim to represent us in the best possible way.

It’s a cycle that started in April, on the heels of the past season, to make use of the exceptional snow conditions in the Canadian Rockies. Training on rock-hard snow to hone technique, explore the nuances of equipment, build capacity. Yes, after a long winter of racing, ski racers still invest even more after the racing is done, in the pursuit of excellence.

Then, the off-snow season begins. Hours of sweat at Canadian Sport Institute Calgary under the watchful eyes of athletic trainers, coaches, physios, nutritionists, sport physiologists and more. To build stamina, capacity and skill.IMG_4783

Summer becomes winter either on the glaciers of Europe or natural snow of the Southern Hemisphere. Very early mornings, often accompanied by spectacular sunrises at the rarefied altitudes. Important work invested into core skills. And it continues into the autumn months on the many glacier resorts of Europe, to fine-tune as the season hurtles towards the opening.

Hundreds of volunteers have poured tremendous effort into preparing the World Cup. As Calgarians were basking in +15c temperatures, they’ve been working in the snow running “A” net, “B” net, communications wiring, start and finish setups, working the surface to be world-class. An enormous mobilization of skill and hard work to prepare the opening downhill of the winter season – to be ready for the 1st training run on Wednesday, November 21.

At Lake Louise, over a three week period, the world’s best alpine ski racers will take nearly 1,000 runs on the Olympic Downhill. First the men’s World Cup, then the ladies, followed by the Nor-Am Tour for both genders.

Lake Louise has hosted the 2nd largest number of World Cup events, world-wide – behind the famous Hahnenkamm at Kitzbühel. No venue is as productive and supportive as Lake Louise, staging 16 days of training and racing.

DSC01516And a story: one of the spectators will be a close friend, Peter Obernauer, a member of the Executive Committee for the Hahnenkamm Races at Kitzbühel.  Peter loves to visit Lake Louise. The beauty of the Canadian Rockies are a draw, as is the skiing and that everyone on the World Cup Tour is lodged in the Chateau Lake Louise. But he appreciates the effort invested by the race committee (having been the Chief of Race for the men’s downhill on the Hahnenkamm for many years). He appreciates the ambience of Canada’s World Cup and the ease with which all spectators and participants can move about the mountain to watch, cheer and celebrate.

“Your World Cup is very different than ours (at Kitzbühel) and I like it very much” said Peter to me last year. “You offer something we can’t. You have a special spirit and I hope you always will. Everyone works so hard. You overcome really big challenges as the first race and take such pride in doing so. I just love to be here and be part of this.”

The Lake Louise World Cup Race Committee epitomizes the spirit of sport. Selfless effort, tremendous pride and a relentless effort to provide a home environment for the Canadian Team — this is what we have built in Canada in our sport community. This is what motivates volunteers, officials, athletes and their families. This is why we are winners.

So let’s move on. Let’s focus on what we do very well – which is host great events. Let’s celebrate our athletes and the community that supports them in their quest to represent us. Let’s celebrate what we can bring to our local community, to our country and to international sport.

We hoped to welcome the world. Well, the world is now here. We didn’t need to wait eight years. Another 100 million+ viewers will be tuning in on TV over the coming weeks to watch a new season begin, possibly history being made and to take in the thrill of competitor against the mountain.

Come on out. Cheer on our best.

 

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Decision 2026: A vision of what we can be.

The decision is upon us. It is now up to Calgarians to decide: do we want to remain in the race for 2026?

Calgary is at a crossroads. The Games of 1988 seem a distant memory. The decision facing our city should be evaluated carefully, understanding not only the bricks and mortar of venues, but perhaps more important – the human resources we have built in our city and region – and where do we see our city and ourselves as citizens headed?

calgaryIt comes as no surprise that Calgarians take this decision seriously. The details presented have been carefully considered. Many harbour concerns about the risk, or are nervous about the economy or question if we are setting our priorities correctly.

We should be challenging our leaders and asking tough questions. A thorough debate and engaged population makes for a stronger community.

The past five years have been tough on our community. We are reminded, daily, of the challenge to get the primary products of the Alberta economy to market.

Now, we have a project that can bring investment into our infrastructure, bolster the markets of tourism and sport, galvanize the spirit of youth, motivate current and aspiring athletes and inspire a nation – and the rest of Canada is cheering us to “go for it”.

It is frustrating to hear the claim about how short term the Games are. As someone who lives on the snow in wintersport, I see throughout the winter how active and widespread winter sport is in Calgary, Canmore and our region. A project like the Games is much more than 50 days in 2026.

Reflect and see what we have built.

Events: Since 1988, Calgary has established a sterling reputation as a host of annual World Cup events in speed skating (long and short), bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, alpine ski, cross country, biathlon, freestyle, ski cross, snowboard – 12 World Cup events every year pass through our region.

KarenPercyVenues: The investment into the sport venues is to refurbish. These venues are not derelict. Our community actively use them throughout the winter, from recreational participants to developing athletes to our best who aim to compete at the highest levels.

The Canadian Alpine Ski Team is currently training at Nakiska, preparing for the first downhill of the World Cup season. Our speed skaters just competed in the Short Track World Cup at the Olympic Oval, which is also a vibrant venue at the University of Calgary. December finds World Cup events on the sliding track at COP and come January, attention turns to the Freestyle World Cup, staged on one of the best mogul runs in the world. This year will see the return of the Biathlon World Cup to the Canmore Nordic Centre.

The continuous use of our 1988 sport venues has ensured they meet current international sport standards. Winning a Games bid ensures these venues are revitalized to remain current for the next 40 years.

Athletes: A successful bid turns the World Cup events into test events for the Games. They bring training opportunities, tourism impact and chance to give our current National Team athletes a “home court” advantage. And it inspires the future – young athletes who have access to world-class facilities – to dream of representing their country at the highest levels.

Our success internationally, where Canada hits well above our weight in results in World Cups, World Championships and the Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games is a direct legacy of 1988. The pathway to success has been built through Calgary.

History: In 1980, in the heat of the bidding battle for the 1988 Games, Calgary was offered the opportunity to host the final World Cup ski race, which had been cancelled earlier in the season. A bold group, inspired by Frank King and led by a small but keen group in the ski community, said “why not us?” With no race committee, no safety equipment, no sponsor, no TV –they boldly accepted this challenge with only 4 weeks to organize the event. Lake Louise now ranks second in the world for number of World Cup races staged.

Volunteers: One of the many volunteers for the 1980 race was Rob Imbrogno, who brought his skill set from Telus (then AGT) to set up the communications network. That inaugural World Cup downhill started a thirty-nine year journey. Rob has volunteered for every FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Alberta, worked both 1988 and 2010 Games and also volunteered overseas at World Ski Championships. Rob, does not own a pair of skis. Rob does not ski. But he is passionately committed to imparting his knowledge and leadership skills to run great World Cup races and giving Canadian athletes the best possible opportunity to race at home.

There are hundreds volunteers just like Rob who have faithfully supported our athletes and events as officials, gate keepers, starters, timers, race area maintenance, the essential army of volunteers that make our annual World Cup events such a success. This dedicated crew emerged as we hosted the pre-Games test events before 1988. They were the backbone of the ‘88 Games and have continued to be the core of our event organizing committees since. We now need a knowledge transfer to a new generation of volunteers who would run the Games of 2026 and 30 years beyond.

Employment: We can debate economic impact, but there is no arguing with the jobs based in Calgary with the National Sport Organizations and Canadian Sport Institute which include sport administrators, athletic trainers, physiotherapists, sport physicians, sport psychologists, coaches, nutritionists and more. It is a fact that the 12 annual World Cup events staged in our region have international TV audiences that number into the hundreds of millions of viewers and a ripple economic impact with investment of sponsor dollars which come mostly from Europe.

openingInnovative Ideas: Thanks to our latitude and our climate, winter comes earlier to the Canadian Rockies. Every year, for 30 seasons, Nakiska has hosted Canadians and many other National Teams to train – at a time where only a handful of ski resorts worldwide are even open.

Ever heard of “Frozen Thunder”? This is an innovative project of the Canmore Nordic Centre, WinSport and Cross Country Canada/Biathlon Canada, which stores man-made snow over the summer months, covered by sawdust’ to be spread over a 3-km. track for Canada’s cross country and biathlon teams to start early season training and has evolved to hosting season-opening international competitions.

fullsizeoutput_40fHow much we have changed: I grew up in Calgary. I know what was here as I moved through the athletic pathway to our National Ski Team. It was sparse: my dryland was mostly on the grass of the University of Calgary and wherever I could find a weight room. On-snow, there were no dedicated runs, so we traveled to Europe in the early season every winter. That 1980 World Cup race was my first downhill ever – in Canada, in my seventh year with the National Team.

Now, in addition to the annual World Cup events, eight National Sport Organizations are now headquartered in Calgary and Canmore. The Canadian Sport Institute – Calgary trains most of Canada’s winter athletes. We have the world-renowned Human Performance Lab based at the University of Calgary. Own the Podium winter office is based at WinSport. This is a thriving sport industry that did not exist in Calgary in 1988.

Leadership in Tourism: Some argue we don’t need to revisit our past glory. That we have the Calgary Stampede and the line-up of World Cup events will continue. So why take the risk?

But ask the Calgary Stampede why they partner with the World Cup races at Lake Louise and have already endorsed the 2026 Games Bid. The leadership of our widely respected summer festival knows partnering with winter events with a large international following and that share similar values and tourism markets is how to build a brand and a reputation.

It’s good for business, it’s good for tourism, it’s good for Calgary and it is exceptionally good for our community spirit.

The distemper of our times is to distrust politicians and international elites. If we look closely enough, we will always find shadows in any project or initiative.

Pride in what we have done to change the world, a vision of what we can be: I prefer to see our community positively, to think of Calgary and Canmore as leaders in our global community. To continue to build on the enormously positive example our city and region launched to the world 30 years ago. In 1988, we changed the Winter Games, forever and we can do it again in 2026. We can be pro-active and challenge the status quo. We can set an example through our integrity, hard work, spirit and innovative ideas. We can set the bar high and work relentlessly for clean sport, sustainable Games, accountability in sport and to be athlete-focused.

I hope we see this as a choice for the future. To be leaders in sport and in our global community, where we can influence change.

We can, but only if we stay in the competition to host 2026.

Only if we vote YES for 2026.

 

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Louise Knight: Honoured Ski Team Alumni

A Canadian Champion and World Cup athlete, who now brings her passion for ski racing to the next generation

CRSRHOF-2018-thumbnailHer record is one of accomplishment. Louise Knight, our Honoured Ski Team alumni, scored her first national title cheered on by her family. That gold from the 1979 Canadian Juvenile Championships launched a career that added medal performances at the Canadian Juniors and Seniors, the Pontiac Cup and capturing the overall title in the Alberta Cup. These solid credentials earned her a spot as a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, where she raced on the Europa Cup and World Cup Tours.

Like many talented athletes in alpine skiing, Louise’s results earned an NCAA ski scholarship, allowing her to compete in NCAA skiing for New Mexico, before completing her Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from the University of Alberta.

Louise says she didn’t come from a ski family, but once she was introduced to skiing and ski racing, she was hooked. “I started skiing at the age of 6 with my Dad and older brother, Terry,” said our Honoured Inductee. “At the age of 8, I was invited to race in the final Nancy Green ski race of the season at Marmot Basin.  I had never ski raced before and was ecstatic to be on the winning Jasper team! From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a ski racer.”

That passion translated quickly into a dedicated work ethic. “I dreamed of being an Olympian,” said Louise. “I was talented, determined, and confident and truly loved everything about skiing and ski racing; training gates, doing drills, powder skiing, mogul skiing, spring skiing…”

fullsizeoutput_784After university and establishing a career, it was her young family that brought Louise back to ski racing. “Although ski racing was my passion, I did not push my children to become ski racers. Admittedly, I was quite relieved when my oldest son, Jesse, wanted to join the Nancy Green Ski League in Grade 3. This started a whole new chapter for our family, which I never thought would lead to another go around with the Jasper Ski Team!’

Like so many parents, Louise found a way to give more. “My motivation to Coach came from both of my children, who found that racing was simply not as fun, or as rewarding as “the park” or free skiing. They were frustrated with their results, and like many kids, they found Provincial races far too stressful and competitive. It became my mission to make Jasper a more competitive, informed, fun-filled club. I drew on my past experiences and challenges as a ski racer and mentored under Gilbert Wall and Brent Shleppe to help re-shape the Jasper Ski Team to what it is today.”

Coach Brent Schleppe and Jasper U16's 2018And she shares a pivotal moment in her coaching career. “If it wasn’t for Jesse’s 10th place ribbon at the JJO’s when he was 9, I am not sure he would have carried on, Says Louise. “I am therefore a fan of top ten ribbons in all Nancy Green Events!! You never know who might continue racing because of that ribbon!”

Coaching my 1st JST group!Coaching has brought many new highlights as her children and their teammates progressed up the athlete development pathway. “I had always dreamed of winning Olympic Gold, and although I never did, it was great to watch my U12 team sweep the podium at the Jasper Junior Olympics a few years back!” says Louise. “And my proudest moment as a Coach was witnessing our entire Jasper U16 Men’s team qualify for the U16 Canadian Nationals last year, along with my Jasper U14 Team winning a Silver medal at the Alberta Winter Games.”

“It’s the athletes that I work with that bring me the greatest joy!” says Louise. “I support and encourage all athletes regardless of Club, and I strongly believe the Ski Racing Community should always be aware of the influence we have on young athletes. It truly is our job to provide a challenging, supportive and positive experience for all of our ski racers.” Louise recognizes her mentors, Gilbert Wall, Brent Schleppe and all of the coaches she works with, for their support and encouragement. And of course, my older brother Terry, who introduced to me to skiing, my parents and sister who try to never miss a Jasper Race, my patient husband Mike and my 2 most challenging athletes, Jesse and Jake.”

Winning the Alberta Cup“Ski Racing has been the foundation for my entire life” continues Louise. “It brought me true joy as a young person. It taught me the virtues of hard work and commitment as an adolescent, which led to my NCAA Scholarship and Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. However, most importantly it has allowed me to share my experience and experiences with many young skiers in Jasper, and throughout Alberta, which hopefully will help them achieve their goals as ski racers.”

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame and Alberta Alpine are pleased to recognize Louise Knight, our 2018 Honoured Alberta and Canadian Ski Team Alumni, for her excellence in representing our country and her dedication as a coach to sharing her passion for our sport with the next generation of athletes.

The 2018 Class will be inducted at the Highest Peak Gala, hosted at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on Tuesday, October 30th. This event was first held in 1968, to support ski racing excellence in Alberta and western Canada. The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is a legacy event with the goal to support future champions in the province, with all proceeds invested into Alberta Ski Racing programs.

Original Post: http://albertaalpine.ca/2018/10/25/louise-knight-alumni/

 

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Mark Bowman: Ski Racing Hall of Fame Honoured Lifetime Official

A dedicated master of timing, whose passion for ski racing ensures our events run smoothly and fairly

CRSRHOF-2018-thumbnailSkiing and ski racing are a life-long passion for our Honoured Lifetime Volunteer, Mark Bowman. “I was around 13 years old and had been skiing since I was 6 but had never been racing or coached, when family friend Joe Irwin (2013 Honoured Builder) encouraged my Dad, Murray, to enrol me in the Lake Louise Ski Club” recalled our Honoured Volunteer. Under the watchful eye of Mike Wiegele (2015 Honoured Builder), his brother Norbert and Andre Schwartz, Mark honed his ski racing skills alongside teammate Mike Irwin (2015 Honoured AST alumni) to be named to the Alberta Ski Team four years later.

Ski racing is core to the Bowman family. Mark had the opportunity to race across Canada in Nor-Am, Pontiac Cup and in Canadian Championships, an experience he shared with his wife, Pamela and daughter Rachel. “I’m proud that both myself and my daughter Rachel raced in the Pontiac Cup Series – one of Canada’s longest-ever running title sponsor race series.”

Following his post-competitive student days at the University of Calgary, it was the first World Cup downhill to be staged in Canada at Lake Louise in 1980 that brought Mark back into the ski racing community. This landmark event and the 1988 Olympic Games found him back onto the track on race crews. “In 1988, I was praying my assigned slalom poles would stay in place during the last 3 racers of the men’s 2nd SL run which was won by Alberto Tomba.”

Mark’s commitment to ski racing really ramped up in the usual manner of ski families. Both Mark and Pamela began to volunteer at events with the Banff Alpine Racers in support of their daughter Rachel. But a nagging hip injury led to a life-altering change of focus. ‘It was Bill Irwin who suggested “if I could ‘hobble over to the finish line they could probably use a hand with some timing stuff’.  I didn’t see it coming – and fell for it hook, line and sinker.  I had no idea how the timing systems worked and it appealed to my curiosity and interest in technology, plus I understood how critical it is to have reliable results with no delays. Nobody wants timing to be the reason the awards are delayed.”

He quickly progressed to becoming the “timing guru” for the club, which of course led to assignments across western Canada for FIS, Nor-Am and Canadian Championship events. He was welcomed into the elite level by the late Dick Beare (2016 Honoured Official) and retired Canadian TD Commissioner Ted Savage and partner James Broder who headed up the Winterstart World Cup timing crew at Lake Louise. He also served at other Canadian World Cup venues including Sunshine, Panorama and Whistler.

Timing and volunteering are a valued skill set that has proved invaluable beyond the ski slopes. Mark joined the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon timing team in 2007.  “I jumped at the chance and within 4 years became the Manager of Timing and Data Operations, which continues to be rewarding through all the acquaintances and genuine friends I have met within the Stampede and also from the 2 other chuckwagon associations.”

Timing is essential to ski racing and the complexity of setting up precision systems on the side of a mountain can come with many stories. “I think it was a fear of failure that led me to setting up all the timing gear each fall” shared Mark. “Testing all the equipment and scenarios I could envision happening on the race course”  – I enlisted Rachel and her kittens to run through the finish eyes randomly to simulate false finishes and overtakes.” Everything from avalanches wiping out starts, sewage leaks in timing rooms and power supplies catching on fire in the timing hut, our Honoured Volunteer has seen it all.

“Volunteering is selfless and brings surprising rewards that you cannot ever imagine, says our Honoured Volunteer. “My father was involved with timing at the Lake Louise Ski Club. My mother was the Race Secretary – and my sister Cindy got dragged into it as well that launched her into working for the 1988 Olympic Organizing Committee. I can’t think of any time in my life that my father wasn’t an active volunteer, and his motto was ‘volunteering is the price you pay to be a full member of that community’. I still volunteer at a number of races each year as it is important to give back to the sport and local clubs and to help train others newer to race timing. It is always great to contribute to the success of a race and I have met many other racer parent volunteers that have become good friends.

Those close friends include fellow dedicated timers Rob Twitchen and Faron Roth with Banff Alpine “we worked totally in synch and would not let each other fail” to Dick Beare and Dave Bartle “The best and most dedicated Alberta Timers” to Bill and Mike Irwin for getting and keeping me involved in timing “How many times did I hear – ‘Hey Bow, we are running this little race next month and could use a timer…” to Darrell MacLachlan “for his unwavering commitment to the program and to excellence”. And on the snow with Mike Wiegele, Andre Schwartz, Mike Irwin, Ken Read “for their expertise, support and drive to improve.”

“I still volunteer at ski races because I like to support the current ROC’s running races, but mainly because I enjoy the friendship and camaraderie developed with other volunteers who have become lifelong friends,” says Mark. “Whether in my business environment or the numerous competitive sports I still participate in, when the pressure is on, I can draw from the experience gained while racing at the levels I achieved. Racing and staying active in skiing not only keeps you fit and outdoors, it connects you to other like-minded people where bonds are formed for life. I met my wife Pamela as a direct result of the racing community, even though she raced and coached in Ontario. Now my daughter Rachel is engaged to Scott Lamacchia whom she met through ski racing about 10 years ago.  Like our Bowman family the Lamacchia family grew up with a similar active outdoor mindset and now they too are set for life – How great is that!”

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame and Alberta Alpine are pleased to recognize Mark Bowman, our 2018 Honoured Volunteer, whose passion for ski racing has crossed generations, inspired fellow volunteers and friends and ensured our clubs and race organizers have the essential tools to run accurate, safe and fun events.

The 2018 Class will be inducted at the Highest Peak Gala, hosted at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on Tuesday, October 30th. This event was first held in 1968, to support ski racing excellence in Alberta and western Canada. The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is a legacy event with the goal to support future champions in the province, with all proceeds invested into Alberta Ski Racing programs.

Original Posting: http://albertaalpine.ca/2018/10/25/mark-bowman-honoured-lifetime-official/

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Doug Savage: Honoured Lifetime Builder

Dedicated to ensuring the ski racing field of play is safe, secure and ready for speed!

CRSRHOF-2018-thumbnailHis life in ski racing has been a living example of ‘pay it forward’. From coaching young skiers with two-time World Champion Lucile Wheeler in the Eastern Townships of Quebec in the 1960’s to managing the extensive hardware needed to stage World Cup races nearly 60 years later, Doug Savage has devoted his life to building ski racing for the young ladies and men that aim to represent Canada.

Doug’s early years in the sport centred around coaching and subsequently providing service to National Team athletes with Atomic and Nordica. In the 1980’s, alongside Gord Reece, Doug helped found the Kananaskis Alpine Racing Team when Nakiska was established.

Like so many in our sport, the 1988 Olympic Winter Games were a memorable highlight. “It was a very special experience working as Assistant Chief of Course for the ladies alpine events in 1988,” said Doug. “It inspired me to continue to support athletes and their ski racing dreams.”

The 1988 Games and securing annual World Cup events at Lake Louise meant Alberta had an enormous inventory of equipment to be used for all levels of events across western Canada. Doug’s post-Olympic involvement in our sport took a unique turn after the Games, managing the growing inventory of equipment necessary to stage safe events in alpine ski racing: “A’ nets, “B” nests, Willy-bags, air fences, crowd control fencing …. with material that runs into thousands of metres and which must be maintained continuously and managed to ensure it is delivered, set up properly, taken down and returned for storage and maintenance. Managing race equipment inventory is not exciting, but it is absolutely essential for our sport.

Doug took on the role of Equipment Manager initially with Alberta Alpine and subsequently with Alpine Canada when the scope of this role grew. Managing safety is much more than ensuring the gear is maintained and kept current. “We worked continuously towards making improvements to equipment to ensure the safety of the athletes,” said Doug. “This involved hundreds of minor innovations and most important, working with individuals and companies to support safe and successful racing”.

“I believe that it is all about the kids and their passion for skiing, continues Doug. “Our job is to support these kids in their development both on and off the ski hill, but most importantly, support their love for the sport.”

Doug would describe his sport pathway as different, perhaps a bit unconventional, but he has no regrets. “Ski racing has been a part of my whole life,” he says. “Ski racing and the amazing people I’ve met through this sport have shaped the person I am today and made me a better person. Ski racing has inspired me. I’m so grateful for this journey.”

There are many who inspired our Honoured Builder in his life-long commitment to our sport. From his father, Alfred Savage, “he always told me if you work hard, do a good job and show respect to everyone, you will be a successful person”, to Ron Allision (father of Canadian Team alumni Bobby Allison) “once you start a job, you finish it. Make a plan and stick with it.” To 2016 Honoured Builder, the late Fred Bosinger “he shared long talks about ski racing, the ski community and life, and I will always be grateful for his support and encouragement”

He is quiet, reliable, focused and enormously committed to athletes, volunteers, officials and coaches who work so hard in our sport. And for Doug Savage, this has been his focus, his passion and his legacy: safe ski racing.

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame and Alberta Alpine are pleased to recognize Doug Savage, our 2018 Honoured Builder, who has devoted his life to athletes in ski racing to ensure the competitive area of the sport is safe, secure and built so they can focus on skiing fast.

The 2018 Class will be inducted at the Highest Peak Gala, hosted at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on Tuesday, October 30th. This event was first held in 1968, to support ski racing excellence in Alberta and western Canada. The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is a legacy event with the goal to support future champions in the province, with all proceeds invested into Alberta Ski Racing programs.

http://albertaalpine.ca/2018/10/18/crsrhof2018-doug-savage-honoured-lifetime-builder/

 

 

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Rob Imbrogno: Honoured Lifetime Volunteer


October 15, 2018

A dedicated volunteer who is committed to building a legacy of success for Canadian athletes

CRSRHOF-2018-thumbnailNearly fourty years ago, the urgent call went out for volunteers to help stage Canada’s first-ever World Cup downhill at Lake Louise in March/1980. Calgary had just announced the intention to bid for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. The final World Cup of the season in Europe had been cancelled and was awarded to Canada. In a four-week window, it was an opportunity to put the Canadian Rockies on the ski racing map and demonstrate our capacity to host major events.

Rob Imbrogno was one of hundreds of volunteers who responded to the urgent call.

There are very few volunteers in the world that can include 108 World Cup races, 117 Nor-Am races and the full program of the XV Olympic Winter Games on their resume. All launched from a request to build a radio communication network for that inaugural World Cup event.

“I’ve been involved in World Cup and Nor-Am races in so many various capacities over 39 years,” said Rob. “Chief of Radio Communications and Data Services, Executive Director of Infrastructure, Director of Marketing and now Managing Director and CEO for Winterstart Events Ltd. Volunteering has allowed me to see the world through ski racing, get involved with some special events – especially the 1988 Olympics, but most important has been the thrill of watching young Canadian ski racers make the podium at Lake Louise.”

Rob is quick to recognize that it takes a Team to build an annual event that includes five World Cup and five Nor-Am starts. “As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village’, continued Rob. “A village that includes volunteers that really get involved. Individuals that can share their expertise, so that young ski racers can have a future in ski racing. We need to ensure that the dreams of young ski racers are realized.”

“I am grateful to the many key individuals who had confidence in me throughout the time I’ve been involved with the World Cup and ski racing’, said our Honoured Volunteer. “. Leaders including John Cassels (2017 Builder), Darrell MacLauchlan (2014 Builder), Bruce Hamstead and Dave Pym have influenced me in both the sport and business side of ski racing. These amazing individuals have become my friends and mentors.”

His dedication to athletes and the hard work that goes on behind the scene to build an annual World Cup is what motivates Rob and the crew he leads. His message to the athletes who benefit from the volunteers who invest thousands of hours to build the track: “Work hard and take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. Never forget those that have helped you along the way. When you have completed your racing career pay it forward by volunteering or coaching so that you can build a legacy for the next generation to succeed.”

“Ski racing has allowed me to witness history-making events in sport.” And for our Honoured Lifetime Volunteer, 2018 will write another chapter, as the world returns to Lake Louise for another Winterstart World Cup and Calgary is poised to bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

For the record, the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup has been responsible for successfully organizing 108 World Cup starts (72 Ladies races and 36 Men’s races). This is second only to Kitzbuhel, a remarkable achievement for a committed, talented and passionate group of volunteers.”

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Rob Imbrogno, our 2018 Honoured Volunteer, a dedicated leader whose four decades of commitment has built this remarkable ski racing legacy at Lake Louise, with a reputation as one of the world’s best sporting events.

The 2018 Class will be inducted at the Highest Peak Gala, hosted at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on Tuesday, October 30th. This event was first held in 1968, to support ski racing excellence in Alberta and western Canada. The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is a legacy event with the goal to support future champions in the province, with all proceeds invested into Alberta Ski Racing programs.

 

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