Thursday, January 21, 2010

World Cup Ski Cross Comes to Blue

Over the past past two days, Blue Mountain Resort has hosted The Rockstar Ski Cross Grand Prix which is part of the FIS Freestyle World Cup. 125 of the world’s best ski cross racers from 25 countries, including Canadian World Cup and World Championship medalists participated in the event creating quite a spectacle for the crowd on hand and heightening the excitement for Canada's entries in the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Canadian ski racer Ashleigh McIvor, the 2009 FIS World Champion in ski cross and Stanley Hayer, the 2009 Winter X-Games winner and multiple World Cup medalist, raced for the first time ever at Blue Mountain. McIvor finished second.
Commencing at the top of the Silver Bullet chairlift, the course arched across the top of the Tranquility and Smart Alec runs before descending into what was previously known as the Yahoo terrain park with the balance of the course snaking its way down Smart Alec terminating at Blue's central base lodge.
For those unfamiliar with ski and snowboard cross style racing, four competitors run the course simultaneously in a roller derby style race to the bottom. The top two finishers of each heat moved on until the field gets whittled down to the final few. All in all it's a pretty exciting format with racers jockeying for position often resulting in multiple spills. I took in a few heats at the top of the course then skied down to the bottom where a sizable crowd was on hand to cheer on the Canadians. Errol Kerr a ski cross racer from Jamaica was on hand and was a popular competitor with the kids, signing their helmets etc. at the bottom of the course. Who can forget the Jamaican bobsled team from the 1988 Olympics in Calgary that inspired the movie "Cool Runnings" with Canadian actor John Candy.
Ski and snowboard cross which started out at the X-Games are newly added events to the Olympics and they will no doubt add a great deal of excitement. The next stop on the ski cross tour is Lake Placid before the racers head to BC for the 2010 Games.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.