ESCARPMENT MAGAZINE | Winter 2014 - page 33

Winter 2014
Escarpment Magazine
In 1989 you suffered a crash at Kitzbuhel, Austria that
nearly ended not only your career, but also your life. You fought back from
a broken pelvis, massive internal injuries and infection and went on to speak
out on the safety issues of the sport. How have you made a difference in
this area?
I know I have. I just wish there was enough money and man-
power to make every race safe. Those are the only two reasons a race
hill isn't as safe as it could be. Maybe a little knowledge thrown in as well
but I'm glad that I helped make positive changes in safety so a racer and
his parents don't have to go through what our family endured.
You didn't quit after your horrific near-fatal crash at the Hah-
nenkamm, in fact, just five years later, you raced it again finishing 14
. Where
did you find the courage?
I'm still wondering. People used to tell me I was crazy for wanting
to return to Kitzbuhel and race again. I think they were on to something
because as I look back at the race now, it does seem idiotic. But more than
anything, I didn't want to be defeated by a mountain that I knew I could
conquer. I admit to being more than scared standing in the start gate in
1994 and reminded myself that I didn't want to give up and found the
bravery to override the fear. It was an immeasurable life lesson for me.
You’re a four time Olympian, competing at Calgary in
1988, Albertville in 1992, Lillehammer in 1994 and Nagano in 1998 –
this is unmatched by any other Canadian Alpine skier in history. Your best
finish was 12
in Super G at Nagano, but as we all remember you nearly
won the Downhill at the Nagano Games but with a near half-second lead
on the eventual winner you skied out of the course a few gates from the fin-
ish. What did you take away from this experience?
Well, I know it wasn't a medal that I took away from this but it
was still a feeling of accomplishment. Being prepared was the biggest les-
son I learned. I was totally prepared. As I stared out of the starting
gate, over the land of the rising sun, I knew I was going to win. Nothing
else mattered. I'd done everything in my power to be at my best for
those two minutes and finally after three Olympic tries I was finally in the
zone. I thought about that run once a week for four years and every day
for six months before it — Sunday February 8
. The time I spent thinking
about every single detail about my gold medal run, was more time than
I thought about kissing a girl for the first time. And that was a lot!
You currently work as a television Analyst for Rogers Sport-
snet. It was announced in September 2013 that due to budget cuts Sportsnet
would no longer be covering downhill skiing. Thankfully that decision was
overturned a few days later. Can you describe what happened after the an-
I still don't know and I'm afraid to ask. I'm just thankful to Rogers
and Sportsnet for allowing us to promote the athletes and the sport and give
the racers the recognition they deserve. We have passionate fans
who pleaded on social media and supported our showand I'mgrateful we
are back covering the best sport in the world for our fourteenth year.
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