VONN, VANDERBEEK HONOURED AT LAKE LOUISE
LAKE LOUISE A portion of the Saturday night “bib draw” gala inside a packed ballroom at the Chateau Lake Louise featured accolades for two North American skiing legends.
Lake Louise Ski Resort owner Charlie Locke took to the stage to present American superstar Lindsey Vonn with a trail sign bearing the name ‘Lake Lindsey Way’, the new name for the Lake Louise run formerly known as ‘Ladies Downhill.’
Vonn, currently sidelined with a knee injury sustained in a training accident in Colorado last month, joined in from her living room via a Skype call projected onto large screens at the gala.
“This is so amazing, I couldn’t be more excited,” said Vonn, an 18-time winner at Lake Louise. “I’ve had so many great memories at Lake Louise, this is truly an honour and I can’t wait to come back and ski on my run.”
Canmore’s Kelly VanderBeek, one of Canada’s most successful female skiers of all time with 22 World Cup top 10 finishes, was presented with the race committee’s Winterstart Award.
The honour is delivered in recognition of an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to Canadian ski racing.
“I don’t even know how they picked me, but I’ve always seen it go to such lifetime achievement type of people,” said VanderBeek.
“That’s how I’ve always thought of it, so when I found out I was receiving it I was gobsmacked and blown away.”
VanderBeek, who retired in 2013, has worked in an alpine racing broadcast role ever since. She currently is with the CBC.
“I’m feeling just blessed to be able to continue to work in this realm and to tell stories of these athletes and to continue to work with a lot of youth in our community,” she said.
“I don’t feel like I need an award, but it meant a lot to me because this community means a lot to me.”