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Boyd, Whistler Mountain celebrate 35th

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Whether it’s fate or just an incredibly happy coincidence, Rob Boyd and Whistler Mountain have a history that goes way beyond his World Cup downhill win in 1989 – they also share the same birthday.

On Feb. 15, Whistler Mountain and Rob Boyd both turned 35.

"It’s pretty neat," says Boyd. "It’s a little Cinderella story isn’t it?"

Boyd made several entries in the history books in 1989 when he won the Whistler downhill, becoming the first – and still the only – Canadian male to win a World Cup race in Canada. It was Whistler’s finest hour, and by all accounts, our finest apres ski party.

To celebrate the big 3-5, Boyd and his friends took a run down the Dave Murray downhill course before sitting down at Dusty’s to relive great memories. "I’ll try to recreate the leg up in the air off the Fallaway for old times’ sake," he joked beforehand.

Like a true Crazy Canuck, Boyd tore down the World Cup course half out of control, sacrificing safety at every corner for a little more speed. He nearly lost it on the Fallaway turn, flailing arms and skiing on one leg, before getting back under control and assuming his rightful place at the top of the podium.

Although he has been retired since 1997, Boyd remains one of Canada’s most recognized sports figures. On Nov. 18, he was inducted into the Canadian Skiing Hall of Fame.

In recent years he has helped to coach young skiers, and the lane up to the Whistler Mountain Ski Club was named after him. He was captain of the Whistler Freeride Team and raced in the professional Ford Downhill Series before he decided to take this year off to recover from spinal surgery.

Boyd is in university these days, and making the trip up to Whistler on the weekends.

"I might leave Whistler for a while, but I will always come back here. It’s the best skiing, the best mountains – I couldn’t stay away if I tried," says Boyd.

Whistler Mountain officially opened to the public on Feb. 15, 1966 with a four-passenger gondola, a double chair, two T-bars and an office/cafeteria building at Creekside.

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