February 1, 2017
What a great week! What a great season!
I hope you caught sight of some of the astonishing performances by Mac Marcoux and guide Jack Leitch this past week at the World Para-Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. 4 Gold and 1 Silver! Simply amazing and we couldn’t be happier for Mac and Jack. Jack was born and raised in Calgary and is the son of past AASA board chair and AST alumnus, Bob Leitch. Jack is another product of the Calgary Alpine Racing Club and spent 3 years honing his skills with the Alberta Ski Team before transitioning to Mac’s guide this past summer. Now they are FIS World Para-Alpine Skiing Champions. Well done Mac and Jack!
Another great success story for Alberta these past weeks has been the success of Erik Read (Banff Alpine Racers) on the World Cup circuit. Erik is now ranked in the top 30 in the World Cup for both slalom and giant slalom. I don’t think we’ve seen this since Thomas Grandi in 2004-08. Erik has been a consummate professional both on and off the hill. His ability to balance all his commitments to Denver University (including missing the Wengen World Cup so he could race for his school at a required race in Snowbasin) is remarkable. It is great to see the support Erik has had these past years as he overcame each challenge that was placed in front of him. So good to see him succeed.
One of the great benefits of alpine ski racing is the community we all grow up with. From the young racers who form life-long friendships, to our coaches, volunteers and officials that we get to know and appreciate over many years, to the parents who manage every drive to the hill no matter what, and offer a friendly ear on the way home, it’s amazing what you do. Thank you.
I am also very appreciative of our Legends Club members whose support of special camps and projects this year have helped over 300 young Albertans, come together to learn new skills and gain unique experiences outside of competition. I am thrilled that we can offer great programs and opportunities here in Alberta because of the essential support of our major sponsors including Alpine Insurance, Western GMC/Buick and Sporting Life. A special thank you to these sponsors and our other key partners for their support of amateur sport in our ski racing communities.
This week you will have received a letter from me in the mail. I wanted you to know what our trusted friends at Alpine Insurance are happy to quote a special coverage to you as a member of Alberta Alpine. Similar to the Sporting Life discount cards sent out in the fall, I sincerely hope our members will see these direct connections with our provincial sponsors as an integral part of our community and sustainability as a sport.
Enjoy the best of what winter has to come. Enjoy the experience, the laughs, even the tears and all this great province and wonderful community has produced and continues to share through ski racing.