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Ski stars, retro racers show out at Bozocup in Banff

The annual event raises funds for several charities.

BANFF – Superheroes wearing tighty-whities on the outside of their pants and ski bunnies with fluffy cottontails make their way down the slalom course. World Championship medallist Erik Read is chit-chatting around the finish line, and former and future Olympians go at it in head-to-head racing.

It’s a bluebird day, tacky costumes are on and retro is revived, which must mean the Bozocup is in full force.

The annual Bozocup took place on Saturday (April 20) at Mount Norquay in Banff, honouring the late Rob Bosinger while raising funds for scholarships and charities. The memorial weekend is centred around the round robin dual slalom competition, which can be best described as ski drag races.

It’s not unheard of to go up against racers like PyeongChang gold medallist Brady Leman, World Cup medallist Jeff Read, former national team skier Paul Stutz, or retired ski cross racer Louis-Pierre Helie, who won the men’s pro side. 

Addison Schroeder and Kelvin Cochrane won the amateur divisions and Andre Quenneville and former Olympian Wendy Lumby won in the masters.

Lily Sewell claimed first prize in the women’s pro division. A smiling Sewell, the daughter of 1984 Olympian Liisa Savijarvi, took a step back in the time machine and wore her mother’s mustard yellow national ski team outfit, which must have still had some Olympic speed left in its fabric.

“This is the best race I’ve ever been to,” said Sewell. “The vibes were just unmatched, the sun was shining and it was my first year ever doing it, so, honestly, it was such a pleasure to come out here and the volunteers did such a great job keeping it running and organized. I think it was just a fun day to get out and remember somebody special.”

Pete Bosinger said the legacy that’s been created in his younger brother’s name is incredible. Rob, a former World Cup racer and a coach and mentor to young skiers in Banff, passed away suddenly from a heart arrhythmia at 38 in 2005, leaving behind his wife, Janet Carswell, and their infant son, Mats.

Since 2006, the memorial weekend of racing, which includes the Kindercup races for children, raises funds for youth skiers and also for sudden arrhythmia death syndrome or SADS.

“It’s hard to put into words sometimes … it shows what this community is all about,” said Pete. “Everyone loves to come together and celebrate a great season at the end of the year like this. It’s truly a special weekend for everybody and the community that comes out to support.”

Pete said his brother loved anything and everything retro and was a master of putting together costumes, making up a big part of the Bozocup’s atmosphere from two-time Olympian Erik Read’s western tassel jacket to Paul Stutz’s jean shorts and Hawaiian shirt to Adam Kennedy’s shiny spacesuit.

“[Rob] was a master of putting Halloween costumes together and just bringing out that retro-theme and we encourage the costumes, there’s an award for the costumes, and [at the Kindercup] all the U14s and U16s will dress up; they start talking about what they’re going to wear in January,” said Pete, wearing his ‘90s national team uniform.

Cochrane, the back-to-back winner in the amateur men’s side, embraces the costume aspect of Bozocup and dressed up as Maui from Disney’s Moana, with a big dark wig, tribal tattoos and a grass skirt for the racing.

“I coach at Norquay and Banff Alpine Racers and I grew up racing here so this is just a no-brainer to participate in, I love it,” said Cochrane.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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