Whistler ski coach Mike Shaw is recovering in a Colorado hospital after suffering a serious neck injury last week.
Shaw, who coaches the WinSport Academy Halfpipe Team, fell after landing a trick during a Dec. 16 training session with the team at the Keystone Ski Resort, sustaining damage to his vertebrae and neck ligaments.
"Mike fell after demonstrating and landing a ski trick called a nose-butter 720," said a statement from the B.C. Freestyle Ski Association. "Unfortunately, landing in the unstable man-made snow caught his ski tips, throwing him forward, directly onto his head."
Shaw was airlifted to hospital in Denver, where he underwent successful surgery and has since seen his condition improve.
"The doctors have diagnosed Mike with incomplete paralysis and at this time it is uncertain how Mike's recovery will progress," said the B.C. Freestyle statement.
Shaw is also a founding member of the Whistler Troutsmen. The local group organized a fundraiser for Shaw at the Longhorn on Dec. 20 and a Troutsmen spokesperson said more details on how to support Shaw's recovery may become available in the coming weeks.
Further questions or concerns can be directed to B.C. Freestyle president Brent Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STIRK, JOHANSSON TOP FIRST KVRS
A few dozen skiers and snowboarders came out for the first outing of the Kokanee Valley Race Series last Thursday, Dec. 19, a two-run race held on Lower Olympic at the base of Whistler.
Ian Stirk had the fastest overall two-run combined time, finishing in 31.19 seconds while winning the men's 19 to 29 division. Lisa Johansson (31.44) set the women's pace and took top spot in the women's 19 to 29 race.
Other men's division winners from the first race of the series included Court Larabee (snowboard), David Trussler (70 to 79), Peter Lyall (60 to 69), John Muzzillo (50 to 59), Michael Noc (40 to 49) and John Atkinson (30 to 39). Women's winners from last Thursday were Sachiko Yamamoto (40 to 49), Sanae Tanaka (50 to 59), Barbara Walker (60 to 69) and Grace Oaks (70-plus).
The next race of the series is scheduled for Jan. 9. Visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events for more info.
SIGN UP FOR SUMMER EVENTS
Runners and triathletes can start thinking ahead to the summer with some major Sea to Sky events now open or close to opening for registration.
Sign-up for the Squamish Triathlon, which is returning for a 17th year, opened on Saturday, Dec. 21. The annual race, a memorial event for Bob McIntosh, will feature Olympic and sprint distances, as well as relay division on July 6. Visit www.squamishtriathlon.org for race info and registration.
Meanwhile, online registration for the fourth annual North Face Whistler Half Marathon will open on New Year's Day.
Visit www.whistlerhalfmarathon.com for full details and sign-up info for the June 7 event.