Town: Calgary, Alberta
Quote: “Never let your fear decide your fate.”
About Sydney: Hi there! My name is Sydney aka Syd. I am a 22 year old mountain fanatic. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and have never left home…permanently. Although I have traveled lots, because let’s be honest, there are no waves to surf in this landlocked province. Growing up with mountains only a mere hour away is something I treasure the most and hold closest to my heart. I cannot imagine a life without the beautiful surroundings I call home. This being said the mountains nearby meant I started skiing at a young age – SURPRISE! Mom and Dad tossed me in a Nancy Green program up at Norquay and within two weeks I said “I want to be a ski racer.” With their little knowledge of skiing, let alone ski racing, they agreed and got me into a race program… if only they knew what was in store for them.
I started out slow, to be honest I probably blew, I was now on a race team with other 9 and 10 year olds who had been skiing since they could walk for the most part, I’ve heard stories about remarks from parents wondering what the heck I was doing there, and I know for a fact that all of the kids I started with were wondering the same. But guess what I spent the next 7 years with those same kids who I would soon call my friends. Slowly but surely I progressed as an athlete. Did I win medals? No. Did I ski my best? Always. As I got older and points became important in ski racing I realized hey, I’m not the best at this. My bib number was always further back than my friends by at least 10-20 racers, but I never gave up and I didn’t let it get me down. Heck I raced 2 years of FIS, I got to train in Austria, Switzerland, Chile, and in the US, I got to see the world and experience so many wonderful things. I didn’t quit until my last year of high school simply because I loved the sport, I loved my coaches, and I loved my friends. Most of all I loved my skiing community. I have to give thanks to my parents who learned to love the sport that I loved so much. They started skiing for me, they became chiefs of timing and race administrators they put in so many hours, moved their full time work schedules around and probably almost went into debt with all the equipment and ski trips they had to pay for, just so I could participate in something I felt so passionately about.
It is because of my skiing community that I am still here today, the year that I ended my career as a ski racer is the year that I became a coach. I have been coaching little shredders for six years and counting now, and I wouldn’t trade my job for the world. I remember all of my coaches growing up, I remember their names, things they said to me, things we did as a team. I am the proud owner of forever memories. I am so thankful for every single one of my coaches that I ever crossed paths with as a ski racer because if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They pushed me and challenged me in ways that no one could understand, they were there for the good times and the bad, and for that I am ever so grateful, as you never once took away my love for the sport of skiing, rather you taught me to love it, respect it, appreciate it, and to always challenge myself. It is because of my skiing community that I want to give back and inspire young minds. I want every child that I coach and cross paths with to develop a love for the sport of skiing just as I have. I want their fears to become challenges and opportunities that they can overcome because you never know what is waiting at the bottom of the race course, on the other side of that jump, or at the top of the mountain. Every girl, big or small, should experience their best time yet, their first 360, and the excitement of fresh tracks on their first “big” line. Our fears should never decide our fate.
Today I spend my time skiing both in the backcountry and on resorts as much as I can …even if that means skipping a few classes here and there for a great trip in the backcountry or those ever so wonderful and few powder days (sorry profs!). Summers are still spent in the mountains – rock climbing and hiking rather than skiing. I am a full time university student, part time coach, and part time ski bum extraordinaire.