National Ski Day around the corner for Alpine Canada
Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 06:00 am
It’s fair to say Canadian ski sensation Dustin Cook was torn about his presence at the 2016 CIBS National Ski Day.
It’s not as if Cook dislikes skiing at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ont. He loves that. But the 27-year-old would have much rather been on the world cup circuit, beating the best skiers in the world and building upon his breakout 2014-15 season.
Instead, he got to see up close what a supportive ski community looks like at the grassroots level.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, I got to attend the 2016 ski day in Collingwood. Seeing the kids out there, and having people recognize you, was a super cool thing,” Cook said.
He’ll be in Europe this year, but the third annual CIBC National Ski Day will hit the slopes Saturday (Jan. 14) with half price lift tickets and Alpine Canada events across the country. Seventeen ski hills are taking part in the event, which slashes lift ticket prices in half and sends funds to support Canada’s top skiers. Nakiska is the closest ski hill participating in the event.
“It’s a great way to celebrate the sport. Skiing can be expensive and this gets people out with cheap tickets,” Cook said. “My favourite days as a kid were to go out, do some ski training, then rip around the woods with my friends at the hill. I had fun outside and those are still some of my fondest memories.
The world championship silver medallist said growing up in Ontario, skiing was always a family activity, and it complimented his love of skateboarding. He wants to see both sports continue to grow, and believes national days are just the ticket.
“I grew up as a skateboarder, so I grew up in a sport on the fringes. They have a skateboarding day and I still see it every year. I hope ski day can do the same for us. It brings attention to the sport and every day we’re hustling to get better. I love this initiative and hope we can grow this into a big event,” Cook said.
Panorama Mountain Resort, Tabor Mountain, SilverStar, Red Mountain, Castle Mountain and others are also taking part in the event.
Cook plans to connect with skiers at the hill through Facebook Live and Alpine Canada will have a presence at many of the hills. He also promised the Bow Valley he’d keep an eye on local favourites Trevor Philp and Erik Read.
“They’re good, hard-working guys. It takes a while at the world cup, but now they’re doing big things.”
Visit alpinecanada.org/nationalskiday for details.