Locals Dunand, Smith top season-ending skate jam 

Sports briefs: Freestyle skier Turski retires

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Simon does Simon Dunand gets some air in a recent skate jam at the Whistler Skate Park.
  • Photo submitted
  • Simon does Simon Dunand gets some air in a recent skate jam at the Whistler Skate Park.

Simon Dunand doesn't compete all that much anymore, though he makes the most of it when he does.

The Whistler resident, originally from Australia by way of San Francisco, captured the open men's title at a skate jam on Sept. 23. Dunand said his success came through big airs and grabs in front of an encouraging crowd.

Though he did one competition in Vancouver earlier this year, he primarily heads over to the local skate park to do his thing whether there's a competition or not.

"Mainly, I just stay local," he said. "Competitions aren't exactly my vibe because I mainly skate for the fun of it."

Dunand has been in Whistler for nearly six years and is currently applying for residency to stay around for a while longer to help boost the local community.

"I'm 27 years old now and I know I'm not going to be a professional athlete the way I wanted to be, so my plan is just to take care of the kids and try to push them to where they want to be and reach their goals," he said.

Giving back is important to him because he had more experienced riders help him out with his development into the skater he is today.

"They really help support you and push you harder," he said. "The more time you spend with them, the better you'll be."

One of Dunand's apprentices is 13-year-old Truth Smith, who won his division at the skate jam with some big tricks like 360s and airs to impress the judges. Smith also won a pair of bowl jams this year to enjoy a strong season.

"This summer, the skate park has been pretty much my home," said Smith.

Smith credited Dunand with balancing his talent with teaching ability at the park.

"He's super good, he's super nice with kids," he said. "I look up to him for sure."

Turski announces retirement

Kaya Turski, the first female skier to land a switch 1080 in slopestyle competition, called it a career on Oct. 3.

The Montreal product and eight-time X Games gold medallist, 2013 FIS world champion and five-time Association of Freeskiing Professionals overall champion decided to focus on her health and keep herself fresh for the future after a banner career.

"I always had an insatiable hunger for challenge, and sport gave me the opportunity to pursue things I had only ever dreamed of," Turski said in a release. "I was fortunate to be surrounded by incredible athletes who had a strong sense of purpose, which really pushed me to dive deep into mine."

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