At the request of his partner, Savina Findlay, the Canadian Avalanche Association has established a scholarship fund on behalf of snowboarding legend Craig Kelly.
Kelly, 36-years-old and a father of one, died in a avalanche along with six other backcountry skiers while traversing the Durrand Glacier near Revelstoke on Jan. 20.
The Craig Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund will help snowboarders pursuing avalanche and mountain guiding careers pay for training. To date, more than $3,000 has been contributed.
Kellys death caused a shockwave through the snowboarding community. For almost 20 years, Kelly has been an icon in the sport. He was a four-time world champion, a three-time U.S. Open Champion, and a three-time winner of the Baker Banked Slalom. He was the guy all the pros wanted to be, and more.
Although he was a formidable competitor, the backcountry and big mountain snowboarding would define Craig Kelly for the better part of the last decade. He loved the backcountry so much that he became a snowboard guide once he retired from the pro circuit, and by all accounts he remained one of the most graceful riders in the world.
Behind the scenes, Kelly helped the industry develop new designs that are in use even today.
Quite simply, he was recognized as one of the most influential riders of all time.
Jake Burton, the founder of Burton Snowboards and a friend of Kellys, is among the legends that are already encouraging fans to make donations to the memorial fund.
Findlay and Kellys friends are putting together a memorial service for Kelly in early February. It will likely be held in Washington State, where Kelly grew up.
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