Nova Sco­tia snow­boarder draws in­spi­ra­tion from late Ski Mar­tock star

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT

minute’s from Dart­mouth home.

“It’s not that we were re­ally close or any­thing,” she said af­ter qual­i­fy­ing for last night’s half­pipe semi­fi­nal at Cy­press Moun­tain. “It’s just that he was such an icon at the home hill. When you thought of Mar­tock, you thought of Joel. He was just such a big part of the snow­board­ing team in Nova Sco­tia that I thought I had to do some­thing.

“I don’t want him to be for­got­ten.”

Be­fore the Van­cou­ver Games, Con­rad and friends Natasha Burgess and An­drew MacLean es­tab­lished the Joel Boylan Award, given to a Nova Sco­tia snow­boarder who not only has a promis­ing fu­ture in the sport, but who is also a good role model.

It was Joel’s dream, she said, to

Con­rad’s snow­board in the Van­cou­ver Games.

And, Con­rad said, he was on his way.

“He was do­ing the World Cups, work­ing his way to the Games,” she said. “He lit­er­ally didn’t get the chance so that run is for him.”

And a good one it was, enough earn her one of 12 semi­fi­nal spots from 30 over­all pre­lim­i­nary en­tries. And that was af­ter she fell dur­ing her first pre­lim­i­nary run.

Con­rad, who turns 25 next month, is one-half of the At­lantic Cana­dian con­tin­gent in the Games, the other be­ing a chap named Crosby from Cole Har­bour, N.S. Hockey player, ap­par­ently.

Sid­ney may have a leg up on Sarah in name recog­ni­tion, but there is one area where she’s one­upped the hockey star: this is her sec­ond Olympics hav­ing com­peted in the 2006 Torino Games.

Quite re­mark­able given At­lantic Canada isn’t known for pro­duc­ing Olympic-cal­i­bre snow­board­ers.

Her in­tro­duc­tion to snow­board­ing started in­no­cently enough, fol­low­ing the roots of a sport that only be­came of­fi­cial by Olympic stan­dards in 1998.

“I was skate­board­ing when I was about 12 or so, and I guess the thing to do in the win­ter was try snow­board­ing,” she re­calls. “I re­mem­ber the first time I tried it: we got rentals at Mar­tock and I was try­ing to fig­ure out how to undo the bind­ings.

“I was hope­less. Putting the boots on, they were the big­gest things I’d ever worn. I was like, ‘ Whoa, what is this?’ Cou­ple of falls later, and it’s like, ‘ This is awe­some.’”

She im­mersed her­self in the sport and soon was off to west­ern Canada to train. Then it was a spot on the na­tional team.

The 2009 na­tional cham­pion, she’s twice medalled on the World Cup cir­cuit.

“ There’s def­i­nitely a lit­tle more pres­sure here,” she said, “ but for some rea­son, I wasn’t even ner­vous at the top. When you take all the bleach­ers down, and you erase the crowd, it’s a half­pipe and it’s snow­board­ing and it’s some­thing I’ve been do­ing for years.” Just like Mar­tock. Joel would prob­a­bly agree. And he’d be smil­ing.

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