VanderBeek, Ford to call valley home
The road to recovery will pass through Canmore for two high profile Canadian athletes who have decided to relocate to the Bow Valley.
Alpine skier Kelly VanderBeek and world champion kayaker David Ford have purchased a home in Three Sisters and will set up their new life in fall. VanderBeek has been a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team since 2000 and Ford first joined the Canadian National Kayak Team in 1984.
“We were looking in Calgary for a while. David lived in Alberta growing up and my team is based here,” VanderBeek said. “We rented at the Windtower for a month and started asking why Calgary, why not Canmore? It came within our price range and we found something we fell in love with.”
Moving to Canmore, the couple hopes to re-ignite careers that put them at the top of their sport.
VanderBeek is still recovering from a serious knee injury suffered more than two years ago and must make serious decisions about her career in the coming months. She competed in four races last year and her future depends on her knee.
“There is a couple of functional things I need to do to race fast. I’m seeing an improvement in the joint and will make a call in August or September.
“I’m struggling with range. I have a lot of pain and I have to avoid that range or the muscle will shut down. If the knee can do it, I’ll do it. The knee is the only thing stopping me,” VanderBeek said.
Ford is recovering from an elbow injury and will continue to pursue his sport. As more and more athletes continue their careers deeper into their 40s, Ford, now 46, wants to be part of new research in that area.
“He’s excited to be part of that breakthrough. He’s looking for a team to support him and corporate sponsorship who believe in that idea,” VanderBeek said.
Ford helped build the Kananaskis River whitewater course and is scouting the area for flat water training spots. That, plus the amenities available to VanderBeek, make the move a positive one for the couple. Many of her doctors, physiotherapists and other trainers will be in Calgary, Canmore and Banff.
“Everything about the move excites us. It’s a little scary to pick up and move, but easier when it’s a place like Canmore. We’re excited about the facilities and we really like the welcoming atmosphere,” VanderBeek said. “There’s something about Canmore that makes you feel welcome and at ease. It’s somewhere we’d like to be when we finish our careers and we look forward to raising kids in the community.”
Most torn ACLs take between six and nine months to fix, however, VanderBeek’s case has been much more severe. She plans to pursue her skiing career as long as possible, though. Ideally, she’ll ski in the Lake Louise World Cup in November.
“To say the comeback has been a long haul is an understatement. When I was injured, I was prepared for six to nine months. But mine was quite extreme. I enjoy the aspects of being an athlete, of connecting with kids and the community and connecting with a nation.”
She’s now heading to the 2012 London Olympics to work with CTV, interviewing the mothers of Olympic athletes. She got involved in broadcast at the 2010 Winter Olympics and wants to continue it.
“I’m surprised how much I enjoyed it and how similar to sports it was. Everyone has a role to play and there’s a performance aspect once the camera rolls,” VanderBeek said. “I hope to continue it in the future.”
She said she’s inspired to work with a new training regime and training from her new home base after nine years in Chilliwack, as well as expand her infant photography business.
“It’s much nicer to be in our own home,” VanderBeek said.
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