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Opinion: A goodbye letter to Pique

'This job didn’t disappoint.'
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Pique sports reporter Harrison Brooks says goodbye.

After nearly a year and a half working as the town’s sports reporter, Wednesday, Sept. 28 marked my last day writing for Pique Newsmagazine.

While my time at Pique is coming to an end sooner than even I would have expected just a few months ago, the experiences and opportunities that I have had as Whistler’s sports reporter will be memories I look back on forever. 

Sitting here at my desk thinking about what to say about my time at Pique, my mind keeps taking me back to before I ever wrote a single word for the paper.

Working as a bartender in Saskatoon after losing my job as a general news reporter for the city’s news talk radio station in early 2020, I was, admittedly, disillusioned with journalism and unsure if I would even consider pursuing another job in the industry or just move on to something else entirely.

After months of applying to jobs with no responses, I had decided that I would take a break from the constant job search and just enjoy my summer.

That plan quickly got flipped upside down when a job posting for Pique Newsmagazine landed in my inbox. Even though I never expected to get the job, with just a couple years of experience under my belt, how could I not, at least, apply for a job as the sports reporter in an Olympic town?

Based on my job-search experience over the few months prior, I submitted my application with no expectation of even hearing back. But just a couple days later I got an email with the second part of the application. A week after submitting that, I received another email asking for a Zoom interview, and a week after that, a request for a second interview.

Assuming they had many more qualified applicants than myself, I still had no expectations of getting the job, but was starting to get excited about the possibility, nonetheless. But my pessimism turned out to be unfounded as I returned home from a long weekend at my family’s cabin to an email asking for a third Zoom meeting, in which former editor Clare Ogilvie would officially offer me the job.

And just three weeks later, with boxes packed to the ceiling of my Honda Civic, I found myself leaving the city I pictured myself living in for years, on my way towards what I hoped would be a great new opportunity in Whistler.

And this job didn’t disappoint.

Over my time here, I was able to cover everything from small-town youth sports to huge international events like World Cups, Crankworx and even the Olympics. I was able to tell the stories of some of the best mountain-bike and snow-sport athletes in the world, and learn more about the sports that, until moving here, weren’t even really on my radar.

I wrote opinion pieces and cover features on a range of topics including life after competition for Olympians and the growth of Whistler’s women’s skateboard scene thanks to the work of the Real Wild Kittens.

But among all the great opportunities and experiences that I have had with this job, the best was working with the awesome group of people at Pique. And for that, I just want to say thanks. 

First off, thanks to former editor Clare Ogilvie and current publisher Sarah Strother for giving this relatively inexperienced journalist a chance to prove himself.  Thanks to the rest of the newsroom—Braden Dupuis, Brandon Barrett, Megan Lalonde, Alyssa Noel and Robert Wisla—for all the help along the way and always keeping things fun and interesting in the office. And finally, thanks to the rest of the Pique staff for being an absolute joy to work with for the last 17 months.

As of right now, what’s next for me is still up in the air, but I am excited about the change of scenery and to see where life takes me next. With that said, so long, Pique—you will be missed.

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