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Parsons Memorial teeing off for ski racers

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In five months time, Whistler’s Britt Janyk will likely be pushing out of the starting gate at Park City, Utah, going for gold in the Olympic giant slalom.

Janyk is one of the many international ski racers B.C. has produced over the years, but none of them have made it to the top entirely on their own. An organization of volunteers, fund-raisers, coaches and parents is behind the provincial ski program. On Saturday, Sept. 22 many of them will be teeing off for junior ski racing in the Bob Parsons Memorial Golf Tournament at Big Sky.

Bob Parsons was born and raised in Vancouver and began skiing in the late ’40s with his older brother Stan. Bob raced on Hollyburn and Seymour mountains, and competed in ski jumping, nordic and downhill.

The Parsons family became members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club in the late 1960s. As Bob’s children became involved in ski racing, Bob travelled from race to race helping in course preparation and setup. Bob formed and led the infamous Weasel Workers, who were named after the hard work put in by the course workers on the Weasel section of the Whistler downhill. In those days there were no winch cats and this section had to be boot packed, shoveled and raked by hand. Bob was chief of course for all of the major downhill races at Whistler until his death in 1979. His legacy was several generations of young skiers who learned how to push themselves on skis and in life, but they did so with the knowledge that the courses they were racing were as safe as they could possibly be made.

The Bob Parsons Memorial Golf Tournament continues Parsons' legacy of giving to young ski racers. Entry fee for the Texas Scramble tournament is $110; extra dinner tickets are $25, with proceeds going to support junior ski racing. There will be lots of prizes. Tee off is at 1:15 p.m. (check in between noon and 1 p.m.). Call Chris at 604-932-3784 or Jim at 604-298-1420 for details. Deadline for entries is Sept. 18.

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