A New Season ….

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“Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting.”
Google co-founder Larry Page

The summer solstice has passed. Slowly, for the time being, each day gets a little shorter as the march towards the best season of the year begins.

It’s time to return to the snow.

After a season which included being the only active member of the Canadian Team to ski into the top 30 in World Cup slalom, a member of the silver medalist Nations Team Event and a pair of top 30 results in the World Championships in Beaver Creek, financial limitations in the Canadian program have moved us to build our own program.

Enough about the past. This is about new beginnings.

Here and in the CanuckOne page you can follow the travels and results of one of Canada’s top male slalom ski racers, Erik Read. All we will reveal today is we are setting out for some pretty exciting adventures. Our next destinations – on Canada Day – to paraphrase the words of Alex Trebek “What are two European countries that share the same national colours of Canada?” Not a difficult question we’re sure for most.

Our immediate thanks go out to those who have already helped us in this journey:

  • Andy Leroy and the University of Denver Pioneers who provide the foundation for Erik and his NCAA teammates and coordinated some pretty cool training opportunities this spring;
  • Martin Rufner of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team for immediately making sure there has been access to the Combi Training Group at WinSport – no hesitation in saying yes – and to the crew with the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary and their continued guidance;
  • The continued encouragement from Siegi Voglreiter of Fischer, Bernd Mayer of Leki and Steffi Haenfling of UVEX;
  • Nigel Loring, Cam Stephen and the entire staff of Alberta Alpine who, without hesitation, extend critical support to the many Alberta high performance athletes in our system – AST alumnus and – who remain committed to a dream but on an alternative pathway to excellence;
  • Jim Smelie: thank you for your guidance, patience and most important – your support;
  • And to the many, many people who have shared words of encouragement in the past two months.

This is not an easy pathway. But we are ready to take it on: do what is needed – live, learn and revel in the excitement visiting new places, training with new partners.

“The relentless pursuit of excellence” is our motto. We have a vision, plan and goals and will share these in the journey. We will reflect on our sport and offer commentary – welcome or not. This, we believe, is an essential part of building a culture of excellence: how we can continuously learn, build the social network that is part of any successful sport, challenge the status quo so Canada can once again be a leader in alpine ski racing.

In our own way, perhaps we can help make a difference in the pathway for younger athletes and provide inspiration for big, bold dreams.

But enough for now. We have a plane to catch. Please stay tuned!

About Ken Read

"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You'll Go (1990) Dr. Seuss
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