October 21, 2016
New awards to recognize international achievement of Alberta’s athletes
Canmore (AB) – The vision of Alberta Alpine is “To lead, inspire and support world leading programs and athletes in alpine ski racing”. The primary goal within the high performance stream is to move athletes from the Alberta Ski Team to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, with the technical foundation to be successful on the international stage.
Alberta can take great pride in the results of athletes who have grown up in our system, from their ski clubs to the provincial team and to Olympic, World Championship and World Cup podiums. This remarkable list traverses more than fourty years of ski racing, starting with “Jungle” Jim Hunter who captured World Championship bronze in 1972, to more recent Champions including Thomas Grandi, Johnny Kucera, Jan Hudec and two members of the six-athlete Nations Team Event who took silver at the 2015 World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
There has also been a very strong presence of Alberta athletes moving to NCAA competition following their years with the Alberta Ski Team and Alberta Ski Clubs. Canadian Team alumni Mike Irwin (2015 Honoured AST Alumni) was an early pioneer whose pathway included racing with the Montana State Bobcats. More recently, Trevor Philp has combined a racing for both the University of Denver Pioneers and the Canadian Team, through four years to the completion of his undergraduate degree.
In announcing the new initiative to support these athletes racing with NCAA schools, Alberta Alpine President, Nigel Loring clearly laid out the purpose and goals of the program: “Alberta Alpine recognizes that a number of graduates from Alberta ski racing programs continue to ski competitively at the University and College level. In doing so, these senior athletes committed to not only a post-secondary education but also the pursuit of elite athletics in our sport. It is the intent of Alberta Alpine to recognize these individuals and provide them with extended opportunities in support of their continued improvement of their world rankings, pursuit of a NCAA championship, and potential international representation of Canada on the World Cup or Olympic stage.
The new Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame “Awards of Recognition” salute athletes who are successful graduates of the ski clubs and programs of Alberta Alpine and have achieved success internationally. The primary high performance targets for athletes are with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team or NCAA collegiate circuit.
For 2016 the athletes are:
- International Male Athlete: Trevor Philp (Banff Alpine Racers) placed 14th in the World Cup slalom at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbuhel, Austria
- International Female Athlete: Amelia Smart (Team Panorama) was named to the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer (NOR), placing 8th in the alpine combined
- NCAA Male Athlete: Erik Read (University of Denver / Banff Alpine Racers) placed 1st in the 2016 NCAA Slalom Finals and was named NCAA Male athlete of the year
- NCAA Female Athlete: Jocelyn McCarthy (Montana State University / Rabbit Hill Ski Club) placed 10th in the 2016 NCAA Slalom Finals and was named 2nd Team All-American.
According to Alberta Alpine Athletics Director, Cam Stephen “Inspiration, motivation, focus and work ethic – all positive things these senior athletes bring back to the table for our younger generations”.
The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame and Alberta Alpine are pleased to recognize the 2016 recipients of the Awards of Recognition.
The Honoured Inductees and presentation of the awards will take place at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Tuesday, November 8th as the feature event of the Alpine Insurance Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame supported by Delbrook Capital. This is a free event for all supporters of alpine ski racers.