November 10, 2017

History, performance and commitment celebrated at the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame

Three small medals from a midget (U12 age group) race captured the spirit of the evening as the Alberta ski racing community gathered to celebrate the induction of four remarkable individuals into the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame. Honoured Alberta Ski Team Inductee Glenn Thomsen won these medals as a 10 year old, but he treasures their significance as they represent a pathway to excellence that includes coaches and teammates, along with a stellar list of accomplishments by athletes he coached right to the Olympic podium.

The annual Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame brought together the ski family with laughter, a few tears and many colourful tales about the history of our sport. In the celebration of the 50th year of hosting this important evening to raise funds for our Teams, the large crowd paid tribute to four remarkable individuals who have dedicated their lives to supporting young athletes on their pathway to ski racing excellence.

The “Class of 2017” – Don Boyce (Honoured Official), John Cassels (Honoured Builder), Randy Tarchuk (Honoured Volunteer) and Glenn Thomsen (Honoured AST Alumni) were given a rousing welcome into the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame.

“Each one of our Honoured Inductees has made an amazing contribution to our sport,” said Alberta Alpine President Nigel Loring. “Their leadership, their investment of time and resources and their innovation have make our sport better, given athletes more opportunity to succeed and the proof is in our results, with our athletes reaching Olympic, World Championship and World Cup podiums. Success can only come from a strong foundation and the ski racing community has been built by these remarkable individuals.”

Don Boyce has shared his wealth of experience training and leading officials, as well as building a reputation across western Canada as an invaluable race official and timer. John Cassels has led a team of volunteers at the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup races who have a world-wide reputation for excellence and his innovative skills have matured Canada’s World Cup stop into one of the most valuable and respected on the Tour. Once his racing days were behind him, Randy Tarchuk turned his work ethic and experience into a volunteer pathway that began with his ski club and culminated at the highest level of our sport with the Olympic Winter Games – and still continues as a dedicated core volunteer crew who deliver one of the best Nor-Am events. And Alberta Ski Team alumni Glenn Thomsen has the unique distinction of having coaches both ladies and men, in speed and tech, with podium results in the Olympics, World Championships and World Cups over twenty seasons.

The evening featured presentation of the 2017-18 athletes and coaches of the Alberta Ski Team. Joining Alberta’s best were National Team athletes Brad Leman, who ranks 2nd in the world in Skicross and Jack Leitch who guided teammate Mac Marcoux to four World Championship gold medals and the overall World Cup title in Para-alpine. Both are in final preparation for the World Cup season, which will feature the Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang. A number of other international athletes from Alberta were unable to attend as the competition season continues with World Cup races this weekend in Levi, Finland and Nor-Am races next week in Colorado.

The silent auction, bucket and balloon draws had some fantastic contributions from Mike Weigele Heli Skiing. WestJet, Winterstart World Cup and SkiBig3. With all proceeds of The Hall of Fame event invested in the high performance program of the Alberta Ski Team, this annual event carries forward a tradition of the Alberta ski community gathering to support the brightest prospects that have been developed by the ski clubs across the province. The first event took place in 1967, when Joe Irwin, Alastair Ross and Jack Simpson brought together enthusiastic supporters for a season-opening event to raise some extra funding so the National Team could get extra training in the Rockies to prepare for the 1968 Grenoble Games. Now known as the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event, the tradition raising funds for the sole purpose of giving that extra boost to help the Team carries on.

The ski racing season will open with the traditional FIS Alpine World Cup speed races at Lake Louise, with the men going November 25-26 and the ladies December 1-3. Local racing gets underway with FIS slaloms at Banff Mount Norquay December 1-3. Canada hosts the first races of the World Para-alpine Skiing Tour Nov. 27-29 at Panorama. And the next generation of athletes aiming for the World Cup will take to the slopes of Lake Louise for the traditional Nor-Am Cup speed races December 4-8.

Support for Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame event is greatly appreciated from these strong supporters of the alpine ski racing community: awards sponsor JDIMI Consulting, provincial ski team and series sponsor Alpine Insurance and event sponsor Procom.

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