Affirming the Passion

Last night I watched a girl learn to make the most of winter; I watched her learning to ski and it was an event that re-affirmed just why I love snow sports so much. With eyes wide open and a big smile on both her and her mother’s face, Sunny Gantumur took to the slopes and nailed it.

                                                                         Photo by Kristy-Lynn Polowich

It was really the debut of a project we here at SnowSeekers have been working on since July - that to produce a documentary about a little girl who learns to ski.  It's in partnership with theDigital Media Students at NAIT, so it was a full on film crew out there last night, boom mic, two cameras and all.

With rosy cheeks and a big cheer in her eyes, I sat at the end of the lesson in awe with how energized our subject of the film was. The biggest and brightest surprise I received was when she asked if after her lesson this Saturday if she could stay on to practice and this was after her first lesson! As her family originates from Mongolia, only moving to Canada four years ago, Sunny was already conditioned for a big winter outside. With a brother who speed skates Sunny was looking to enjoy winter in a new way by hitting the slopes instead of the ice.

We were down at Snow Valley, a ski resort here in the heart of Edmonton Alberta for the first shoot of our documentary to be released February 1, 2010 and in association with the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance. After a few stretches in the parking lot, Sunny took to the slopes like a champ. “She is really picking things up quick,” said her instructor Christina Schmidtke, who learned to ski on these same slopes and now gives back by instructing a few hours a week. We watched as Schmidtke passed Sunny through a few drills, like getting in and out of her skis and becoming confident in moving around in them. After the first half an hour of giggles and laughs shared by Sunny and her instructor I asked if she was cold and needed a break, “no I am good, but my cheeks they feel a bit cold,” my immediate response was “yah, you’ll be the one in class tomorrow with the rosy cheeks and all your class mates will be asking you where you were last night!” You could see her eyes light up with excitement from the statement as she jumped back onto the magic carpet for another spin.

Those rosy cheeks are the sign of a skier, snowboarder or fan of the snow. Get out there and get your glow back! Watch for more updates as Sunny takes to the slopes through the next few weeks leading up to her climax December 12th weekend at Castle Mountain Ski Resort as she tackles the Canadian Rockies for her first time. 

Stay Tuned!

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