July 5, 2018 (Calgary, AB) – Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery was the place to be on July 4 as Alpine Canada (ACA) and Alberta Alpine (AASA) got a head start on imminent Stampede celebrations. In true Western spirit, the two organisations partnered to host more than 170 ski racing athletes, alumni, friends, fans, families, sponsors, donors, and volunteers for a friendly gathering in recognition of the recent stellar Olympic and Paralympic ski season.
Current Ski Cross, Alpine, and Para-Alpine athletes traded their running shoes for cowboy boots to shake hands and give thanks an enthusiastic crowd of guests - some of whom sported their belt buckles from as far as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton to join the welcoming and lively Calgary community.
Alpine Canada CEO, Vania Grandi, and Alberta Alpine President, Rob McCloskey greeted the audience. Their introductions were followed by athlete presentations as well as a short speech by Olympic ski cross gold medalist Kelsey Serwa. Two special recognitions were made for retiring athletes Jack Leitch (Para-Alpine) and Georgia Simmerling (Ski Cross). Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumni, Paul Stutz, led the evening as emcee. Live country music and a Stampede themed selfie booth contributed to the festive ambiance.
“Bringing our ski community together to celebrate our successes and keeping in touch even when there is no snow are part of the steps we are taking to foster a strong sense of unity within our sport and to create a shared vision for success from the grassroots to our Olympic and Paralympic teams,” said Grandi.
McCloskey echoed Grandi’s comments, adding that “the support we receive from all stakeholders, may it be financial, in-kind, in time and in energy is essential to developing the best possible skiers at the provincial level and in turn feeding the national programs.”
Alpine Canada and Alberta Alpine will be joining forces again to host a new season and Olympic and Paralympic quadrennial launch fundraiser in the fall. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.
To see Stampede event photos, visit: https://alpinecanadaalpine.smugmug.com/ACA-AASA-Stampede-Party-July-4-2018