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Bushfield still going to extremes

Daredevil reaches athletic, charitable heights



Rory Bushfield may have wrapped up his competitive career, but his time on and around the slopes hasn't suffered at all.

The 31-year-old former World Cup skier and current extreme skier recently got back from the X Games in Aspen, Colo. where he was supporting the Canadian women's halfpipe team, of which his late wife Sarah Burke was a member.

Burke died in Utah in 2012 after a training accident.

At the X Games, Bushfield was also in attendance to see Whistler's Simon d'Artois win Canada's first medal in the superpipe at the event.

"It's good for a local kid from Whistler. Simon d'Artois — just a beauty," he said. "It was amazing to see that kid win.

"Down at the bottom when he won, I couldn't be more happy for anyone. He deserves it."

Bushfield was in town on Feb. 3 as part of a promotion for Kokanee beer, which was launching its Peak line brewed with snow from Whistler Blackcomb's peaks — Bushfield had a hand in acquiring the cold ingredient.

"(The company) heard that I'd been chucking my skis out of a plane and jumping and skiing down, so they got me to basically put a canister in the bag, toss that out of the plane with skis, jump down, and then get the snow and ski to the bottom," he said.

"We did that a few weeks ago... We probably went from about 9,500 or about 10,000 feet and the peak's at about 8,000. It's about 2,000 feet, it gives you some time."

Bushfield has his own plane and has been flying for the last half-dozen years, saying it's all part of his thrill-seeking approach. He regularly posts hair-raising photos and videos to his Instagram account (@bushywayne), the one social media account he uses regularly.

"The whole time, it's been kind of crazy to not have a parachute, but I finally learned, I've got a rig," he said. "It's pretty easy, you can go anywhere, like the military."

Bushfield explained he's working on his wing walks — which he describes as the "best feeling ever" — on high-wing planes like Cessnas.

"I tried to do it for the Kokanee commercial, but you can't do it with ski boots on," he said.

Bushfield also continues to serve as the president of the Sarah Burke Foundation, which gave out a total of two $7,500 grants late last year to skiing brothers Noah, Dylan and Connor Ladd of Lakewood, Colo. and to sledge hockey player Geneva Coulter of Edmonton.

"It has grown in a lot of ways," Bushfield said. "It's cool to see Sarah's legacy live on, not just through the foundation.

"Being at the X Games, Sarah was everywhere. It's inspiring."