October 25, 2017

Don Boyce: Honoured Lifetime Official

Official, teacher, volunteer and parent whose influence has reached across the province and around the world

“Watching my daughter go off a jump in downhill at 100 kph. It was frightening, but awesome!”

Not every parent would list watching their daughter take on a speed event as a highlight. But for Don Boyce, our Honoured Lifetime Official, with thousands of hours running races, volunteering in many various jobs, training new leaders, his love for alpine ski racing and his dedicated commitment to running great events, this is no surprise at all.

Drawn into the ski racing family through his two daughters, Don’s influence has reached across western Canada and into the Olympic Winter Games. From running club events for the Rabbit Hill and the K2 Western Canadian Championships, his commitment and leadership led to many key roles with the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup and a senior position with the organization of the alpine events for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Officials also learn to be resourceful. “We ran the K2 Westerns with a Race Organizing Committee of 3 people” recalled Don. “We re-set the men’s downhill at Lake Louise by GPS at 5:00 in the morning”. His ongoing commitment to the World Cup earned Don the respect of his peers, being awarded the “Sled Dog belt buckle.

Our officials community is made up of remarkable people, which Don is keen to acknowledge. “Ski racing provides an opportunity to meet the best people in the world.  Everyone I have met on the hill is so committed to working the races and putting on spectacular events.  Take advantage of every opportunity to volunteer regardless of the position assigned and you will have the most rewarding experience of your life.”

Don has always gone beyond the role of volunteer working events, sharing his experience as Officials Chair for the North Zone of Alberta and with the National Officials Committee, leading training of new volunteers. He became a resident expert in the timing world, working at many events and also leading training sessions. And he brought his unique insight to the Board of Alberta Alpine, serving as a member for six years.

His contribution as an official and volunteer has enabled Don to work with many of the influential leaders of our sport. “Dick Porteous was a mentor and a great friend.” Said Don.  “He talked me into becoming a Level 3 official and volunteering for the Lake Louise Downhill events.  Without Dick, I would not have become as involved in ski racing as I am today”. Our resident timing leader, Dave Bartle, has also been a mentor, from Timing Teams at numerous events across western Canada and to teaching courses on racing timing.

At the core, Don loves skiing. He lists his highlights as “Beating my 10 year old in a ski race by 2/100ths of a second…. the last win by Dad.” Ski racing is a family affair. For 21 years, Don and his wife Linda have been volunteering and officiating. “Now my daughters, Sam and Jessica, are working as coaches and volunteers in the sport including the past five years on the World Cup crew.” says Don. “It has been a fantastic environment to raise my girls and share my love for the sport”.

“Being involved in ski racing has been such a rewarding experience”, says Don.  “I love to work with the volunteers and share my passion for the sport.  Working with coaches at all levels to help them understand the rules so they can better represent their athletes.  Being able to learn from them on how to set courses and see the difference between the application of rules and the art of course setting.  Watching the athletes develop over the years has been one of the great rewards. Being able to put on excellent races so the athletes can have great race tracks and competitive events to test and develop their skills in the greatest reward I can have.”

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Don Boyce, our 2017 Honoured Lifetime Official, as a dedicated teacher, mentor, timer and official who has lifted the performance of race officials throughout the province and across the country.

The Class of 2017 will be inducted at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on Wednesday, November 8th as the feature event of the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame. This is a free event for all supporters of alpine ski racers.

Click here for your invitation and event details

Don during the 2015 World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Don (seen left with ski buddy Daryn Vanstone) during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado

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