Freestyle rap promotes freestyle skiing 

The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is hoping three things commonly found in Canadian ski resorts will help let the up and coming freestylers break into, and more importantly, stay in the sport.

Those three things are: skiing, snow tires and rap.

With a troupe of freestylers-cum-rappers led by Olympic gold medallist Jean-Luc Brassard, the compact disc song and video for Take Control is being distributed throughout Canada and has aired on MuchMusic and Quebec’s MusiquePlus. Several scenes, from moguls competitions to studio scenes, are synchronized with the song. Not exactly hip hop nor rock ’n’ roll, Brassard is joined in the studio by four-time World Cup aerials champion Nicolas Fontaine and Olympic hopefuls Jennifer Simms from Prince George, and Jennifer Heil from Edmonton.

A very simple song, like so many other rap tunes, it is the message rather than the sophistication of the song that BFGoodrich is hoping will attract Canadians to its BFGoodrich Freestyle Ski Fund. The song on the video is not only written to tell prospective freestylers about the sport, but to launch the campaign that will have BFGoodrich donate $5 for every set of four BFGoodrich Winter Slalom tires sold in Canada this ski-season.

"Do all the jumps/Take Control/Ride all the bumps/Take Control/This ain’t no rock ’n’ roll/Take Control/Triple back lay-out/That’s what I’m talkin’ about," Brassard raps.

With a low-volume distorted guitar carrying most of the rhythm, and Fontaine, Heil and Simms providing harmony for the rap, this song may not win the quartet any awards, but it is original, and certainly raises the profile of freestyle skiing. The song can be downloaded at www.bfgoodrichtires.com.

"I’ve seen too many potential champions quit freestyle for lack of funding, so I wanted to do something about it," Brassard said. "I was lucky enough to become an Olympic gold medallist early in my career, because it brought sponsorships that kept me going as an athlete."

Grant McDiarmaid, vice president of the CFSA, says the initiative by Goodrich might just be the edge Canadians need to win at all levels of freestyle.

"This is one of the best direct funding initiatives we have seen and it will help the Canadian team and the association achieve our objectives of winning at the World Cup, World Championship and Olympic level," McDiarmaid said.

Anyone who has access to a computer can see the video with software designed for MP3 viewing or QuickTime Video, both of which can be downloaded for free from numerous sites on the Internet. Shot mostly in colour, it’s obvious both the video and the song itself required a great deal of time and money. But the bottom line is helping to fund up and coming athletes. The BFGoodrich Freestyle Ski Fund will be administered by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.

"It is the kind of corporate support that will greatly encourage our young skiers," McDiarmaid added. "And take some of the financial burden off the parents."

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