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Maybe it’s also because he’s happy to be working in Canada. “You know, when you’re coaching at the World Cup level, you’re always looking at other teams and how they are functioning,” he says, “and whenever I saw the Canadians, I thought to myself ‘Hey — I could work with that team.’” He smiles. “We’d talked about it before. But when Max (Gartner) offered me the job this year, I already knew what my answer would be.”
Whatever it is that makes him so effective as a coach, Riml brings a level of positive-minded leadership to the team that was sadly lacking in past years. “We’ve definitely added another good piece in the puzzle,” says Boyd. “We’ve been in a lot of meetings together recently. And I listen to this guy and I think, ‘Yeah. This makes sense. I can relate to where he’s coming from.’” He stops. Hesitates. “You know, that wasn’t always the case before…”
In a fortuitous twist to the Riml Comes to Canada saga, another Whistlerite has been drawn back from abroad to work with the women’s program. “How could I say ‘no’?” laughs Jim Pollock. A seasoned veteran of the World Cup wars — and the man who coached Britt Janyk from club to national team (when Britt was still a slalom/GS skier) — Pollock had recently defected to the Americans. But when his boss, Riml decided to move north, the well-regarded technical coach decided to move north with him.
“It was a no-brainer,” explains Pollock. “I had spent two years with the American Team. I was ready to come home. And with Patrick managing the program in Canada — well, I couldn’t have written a better script. He didn’t have to ask me twice…”
Still waters run deep they say. And the ever-smiling Pollock illustrates that dictum well. A man of few words, the longtime Whistler resident would rather listen to people, I think, than talk about himself. Still, when he does speak, he usually has interesting things to say. “I learned a lot from my two years in the U.S.,” he says. “To be part of their culture-of-winning — to be in the heart of it, in fact — was fascinating. It’s so different than the way we approach competition in this country. Still, I always knew I’d come back to Canada eventually.”