BettyGoHard - Taking the Intimidation out of Action Sports - providing the tools & information to build confidence, skills & friendship to help women of all ages, levels and lifestyles Get Out and Be Active!
I am going to tell you about an adventure that started 9 years ago and culminated on the 1st Dec 2011 with me going to Kelowna. Where I sung the Canadian National Anthem and pledged my allegiance to Canada and officially became a Citizen of CANADA.
It all began with a trip to Canada to attend our friend’s wedding in Canmore in 2003. We couldn't come all this way without making a trip to Red Mountain. I wanted to come to Red to test my mettle after making a somewhat amazing recovery my from my back injury in 1998. Now I’m not claiming it to be amazing but after I was told walking again wouldn’t happen; the fact that I do walk and numerous other activities including snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking all to a fairly adequate standard it gets classed as amazing. I just kinda have the attitude that, that! would have not been acceptable, so i Do Things.
Whilst at Red enjoying ourselves in the snow Tash (my now wife) made enquiries as to whether any lodge work was available in Rossland and we came across the Red Shutter Inn looking for lodge managers. Being the occupation we had taken on in New Zealand we were eager to come and try and be able to go back to back winters. So we headed back to NZ to winter at Mount Ruapehu and then back to Red (oct03) for more winter madness. This is when we decided to stay for a while.
I am very lucky that Tash is a Canadian citizen and agreed to sponsor me to become Canadian, she was also sick of being the only one that was legally allowed to work whilst I worked on my mountain bike technique (jealous, she may have been).
This allowed us to stay in Canada, both work and gave us the ability to buy the toys we needed, (basic economics, wants and needs) buy a house and adventure in the beautiful country we have decided to live. I became a permanent resident in May 2005, waited until I had been here for the correct amount of time and then applied to become a citizen.
So when the 1st of December came I was in Kelowna to attend my citizenship ceremony, it was a fun event with 48 other fellow immigrants. We said our oath, sang the anthem and ate cake. For me one of the highlights was having Tasha’s granddad Gordon (92) there to help welcome me as a citizen.
Below is a short list of my accomplishments since arriving:
2004 First mountain bike, 2005 Permanent Residency, 2006 Brought our first house, 2007 Married my beautiful wife Natasha at the top of the mountain on an epic powder day.
I have also made an entry into the world of competitive snowboarding in the adaptive league. This is where people with physical disabilities adapt how they perform at a sport, to perform at a level that makes most people unable to see or comprehend the disability. I have tried to push the sport and my abilities to new levels; which I think myself and fellow competitors have done very well. I have achieved many cool feats like winning the US championships, podium spots at several world cups and competing at the X Games in Aspen last year. All of this whilst wearing the colors and flag of Canada and the Canadian National Team proudly.
Now I am just awaiting the arrival of my first Canadian passport.
So happy, So proud. I'm now a citizen of the Two best places on earth!
Below is one of my favourite recipes of the moment.
"Thom Kha Gai"
Coconut, Chili, Chicken Soup
Piece of Galangal (siamese ginger) about 4cm long sliced thinly
2-3 4cm long pieces of Lemon Grass
6 Red Thai Chilies or something else similar (put in as much as you desire)
1 can coconut milk
500ml chicken broth
200g+ chicken breast sliced into desired size pieces
1tbsp Fish sauce
1/8cup brown sugar or 2 tbsp Agarvae nectar
what you do!
Put the galangal, broth, coconut milk, lemon grass in a saucepan. bring to boil and simmer for 8mins.
Put in chicken and bring back to boil putting in chili’s, simmer low for two mins.
now add the fish sauce and brown sugar stir and serve while HOT!!!
Posted: 31 Jan 2012 09:20 AM PST
The winter X games is one of the highlights in the freeski and snowboard competition world. This year the shadow of Sarah Burke's tragic accident hung heavy with all the athletes. Sarah's family along with the community of winter extreme athletes had a chance to honor her memory with this amazing tribute.
Thanks to Roxy for the great blog entry below, highlighting a great Winter X games and how the community honored Sarah.
Board bags are zipped up, skis packed away, and red tail lights line the road leading out of Aspen as another Winter X Games comes to a close and the world’s best freeskiers and snowboarders disperse to their next mountain adventures. And while they may all go their separate ways this week, whether to the next contest, photoshoot, or distant backcountry terrain, they all leave with a renewed sense of love for the snow community they are so lucky to be a part of. This is one of many valuable reminders that the passing of freesking legend Sarah Burke has inspired.
X Games practice began mere days after the snow community was faced with the loss of one of its brightest stars. This devastating news left a gaping hole in the hearts of all in attendance. But as the practice days turned into competition days, signs of Sarah began to pop up. At first it was the purple ribbons with “Sarah” hand written on them. Then red “Sarah” stickers and blue “Celebrate Sarah” stickers appeared on helmets, boards, skis and goggle lenses. Next came the white armbands embroidered with her name and a snowflake (a nod to one of her many nicknames). By the evening of the beautiful tribute that ESPN organized in honor of Sarah, reminders of Sarah were everywhere, and it was clear that she was with us and would never be forgotten.
The athletes did not let their grief hold them back, but filled with love for Sarah, they rode strong and surely made her proud. By the weekend finals, white Sarah armbands emblazoned almost every shoulder– from Sarah’s fellow skiers to boardercross racers, and even Shaun White himself– it seems that everyone found strength in Sarah.
In fitting tribute, her close friends and fellow Canadian Olympic freeski teammates won gold in both women’s freeski events with performances that are sure to help further Sarah’s efforts towards getting recognition for women in freeskiing (see Kaya Turski’s mind blowing slopestyle run and Roz Groenewoud’s 14 foot superpipe airs). Fellow Roxy teammate Kjersti Buaas wore a Sarah sticker and armband as she rode her way to a bronze medal in women’s snowboard slopestyle. And snowboarders Kelly Clark, Marc McMorris, Jamie Anderson, and Shaun White all wore the arm band to gold medal victory.
By the end of X Games 16, the armbands, stickers, and ribbons came to symbolize more than just the memory of Sarah, they are a symbol of the bond tying the snow community together. In wearing them we recognize that we are a family until the end. Sarah symbolizes all that draws us to the mountains and to each other: a shared love of snow and the endless possibilities it presents, the exhilaration of learning something new and pushing ourselves, and the ultimate joy of playing in the mountains with those you love.
Thanks to Roxy for posting such a great Blog, check out their blog online, keeping us up to date on all things Roxy!