Olympic medals and countless skiers for life, wow, thanks Rio Tinto!

For 23 years Rio Tinto was a major sponsor of the Nancy Greene Ski League (NGSL), and according to Gareth Manderson, general manager, Rio Tinto BC Works, “It’s a long-standing sponsorship we’ve been very happy to be a part of; especially when an alumni of the program comes home from the Olympics with a gold medal.”

Kelsey Serwa became a household in February at the PyeongChang Olympics when she picked up a gold medal in the “Ladies' Ski Cross” event. Her second Olympic medal and one of 29 won by Canada at the Korean Games.

As a young girl growing up in the Okanagan, Kelsey was fortunate that her parents (both skiers) wanted her to follow their passion and enrolled her in the NGSL. “My ski racing career literally began in the Rio Tinto Nancy Greene Ski League! I remember heading up to my home mountain, Big White, with my family on weekends. This is where my love for skiing really started. It was a bunch of friends out in a big group running through the trees, sometimes we’d ski gates, we’d ski moguls, we’d hit jumps one after the other to see who could do the best spread eagle. Those days really established the foundation for my career because it made skiing fun right off the bat in a really safe learning environment.”

As she grew older, Kelsey’s dedication to skiing led her to the Big White Racers program and onto the BC Ski Team and the National Ski Team in Alpine. In 2008 she switched to Ski Cross and quickly became a World Champion including a 2 time X-Games gold medalist, an Olympic silver medalist and an Olympic gold medalist. “I definitely owe much of my success to the great start I got in the Rio Tinto Nancy Green Ski League,” she claims.

Corporate sponsorship of programs like the NGSL can be like watching a forest you've planted grow. Occasionally one tree will tower above the others, and many more will certainly flourish and thrive!

"The NGSL is our most important race program", said BC Alpine General Manager Anders Hestdalen. "It is at the entry level (ages 4 to 11) that we see our largest membership numbers, and where lifelong friendships and a love for the sport develop. The young people joining the Nancy Greene Ski League learn superior skiing skills while enjoying BC's mountain playgrounds with the whole family! I am confident that many companies would find the NGSL attractive and jump at an opportunity to support entry level ski racing in BC. We make skiers for life and some of the best skiers in the world who go on to win World Cup and Olympic medals. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?”

For more information please contact Anders at andersh@bcalpine.com