Last week there was a celebration of Canada’s cultural heritage. I refer to the Montreal Canadiens’ move from the Forum to the new Molson Centre, rather than the Juno Awards. The list of heroes and legends rolled out for the celebration spanned several generations, with names recognizable to all Canadians, regardless of whether or not they follow hockey. The Montreal Canadiens, love them or hate them, are to Canadians what the New York Yankees are to Americans: a symbol of excellence in a sport that helps define the country. Hockey, requiring only a flat surface, water and freezing temperatures, is the obvious sport for a country that is freezing for at least half the year. Sliding down mountains is also a part of Canadian culture, though for obvious reasons not as popular in some parts of the country as others. The list of Canadian mountain heroes and legends rivals that of the Canadiens hockey club: Lucile Wheeler, Anne Heggtveit, Ernie McCullogh, Nancy Greene, Betsy Clifford, Jungle Jim Hunter, the Crazy Canucks... If you need some reassurance that sliding down a mountain is still part of Canadian culture in the ’90s you only have to look at the Molson I Am and Kokanee rock video-style TV commercials. Here in Whistler we have more opportunities to celebrate that heritage than most. This weekend alone on Whistler and Blackcomb there are the Midland Walwyn J2 Western Canadian Juvenile Ski Championships, the Snowboard Canada Jam Tour and the Masters Ski Series Provincial Finals. All next week the World Telemark Championships are on Whistler, followed on the weekend by a BoarderCross event. And starting Easter Weekend it’s the first World Ski and Snowboard Festival: six major competitions, 22 events in all and some of the biggest moguls in the ski world. Skiing, snowboarding — the mountains — are a part of our culture, a fact which is too often overlooked in


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