Crazy Canuck to head Alpine Canada 

Ken Read
  • Ken Read

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His mother, Dee Read was recently added to the Honour Roll of Canadian Skiing in recognition of her contributions to the national ski program as an athlete, coach, volunteer administrator, international official and ski racing parent.

Ken’s younger brother is the head coach of the Sunshine Village Ski Club, and his older brother is the chairman of Ski Jump Canada and has a 14-year-old who is involved in ski flying.

"Our parents instilled in us the drive to be involved," said Read.

Read is a youthful 46-years-old. He’s bilingual. He’s remembered and revered by the Canadians who watched him race, and even recognized by younger Canadians who are familiar with the Crazy Canucks through television and their history textbooks.

For the ACA, Read was the logical choice.

"Ken Read is a winner, an established leader, and a Canadian ski racing legend with proven business acumen," said ACA chair Renaud Beauchesne, who announced Read’s appointment on May 23.

"Our action today demonstrates our firm intent to win World Cups, to deliver Olympic success, and to rekindle the passionate enthusiasm for ski racing Canadians have enjoyed in the past."

According to Read, in addition to rebuilding the national team, the organization has to get more involved at the club level.

"Where are we losing our edge? We’re losing our edge at age 11. We’re losing 90 per cent of skiers right there. We need to be number one at increasing the numbers so we have a bigger pool of athletes that we can start to draw on," he said.

Making the sport affordable and keeping parents involved are key at this level, and Read believes the ski hills can be instrumental in the ACA’s long-term goal of doubling the number of club athletes in the country.

While the ACA is in better shape financially than in the past, Read said he will continue to look for sponsorship opportunities and to find ways to increase support for athletes.

The ACA will also continue to partner with other snow sports organizations, including snowboarding, freestyle, nordic skiing, and ski jumping to streamline the administrative side of operations "and put more money in the athletes’ pockets."

Another initiative is to increase the profile of the sports by inviting more events to Canada and North America. Read believes there is room to create a technical ski centre to share the event currently held at Park City in Utah, and possibly to add another event to the calendar.

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