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Erik Read

Alpine

The son of Crazy Canuck Ken Read is one of Canada's most talented young skiers. He made his World Cup debut at the famous Schladming course in Austria in 2011, more than 30 years after his father stood atop the podium there. Read was fifth in combined at the 2011 world junior ski championships and continued to show his promise in 2012 by winning the overall Nor-Am Cup title. He is the reigning Canadian slalom champion.

Top Results

2013 Canadian slalom champion
2012 overall Nor-Am Cup champion
2012 Nor-Am Cup super combined champion

Nor-Am Cup rankings

(2013-14)
Overall: 5th
Downhill: 43rd
Slalom: 16th
Giant slalom: 5th
Super combined: 1st
Super-G: 19th

About

Birth date: 31/05/1991
Birth place: Calgary, Alta.
Residence: Calgary, Alta.
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
Ski club: Banff Alpine Racers
Made team: 2011

 

Height: 5-11
Weight: 170 pounds
Skis: Fischer
Goggles: Uvex
Boots: Fischer
Poles: Leki
Helmet: Uvex

Q&A

Nickname: Kindle (The Amazon Kindle is a type of ereader which is a play on my name)

What is your first memory of skiing? I used to love giving my parents grief skiing straight down the hill when I was very little. One year while I was spending New Years in Osler I watched a Nor-Am slalom race. I was so fascinated with how they hit the gates that the next day my dad set up a little “course” with ski poles. I went from pole to pole turning back and forth just howling laughter as I hit them over. Skiing took off from there. 

What has been your best moment in ski racing? Winning the 2012 Nor-Am Cup Overall after sustaining an injury that caused me to miss a month of the season. That feeling of elation after persisting through adversity has never felt so rewarding. Can’t say enough about the people that helped me for my return. 

What has been your worst moment in ski racing? Going over to the World Junior Championships as a 16-year-old. I was skiing very well and qualified for the team surprisingly young. I had high expectations but unfortunately I ended up extremely sick while in Spain and saw my season take a complete 180-degree turn. I had a poor performance and sustained an injury shortly after. Very tough way to end the season.

What is your Olympic dream? My initial Olympic dream as a was to compete at home in Vancouver 2010. Now my goal is to compete in 2014 and my dream is to be a medal potential athlete for the 2018 Olympics. 

What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? Travelling to a new and exciting place! We all do this sport because we love travelling and Sochi is a cool, different and exotic (and apparently tropical) place!

If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? ‘Walk On Water’ by TyDi, Maison & Dragen. I have frission every time I hear that song.

If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be? My grandparents. I know nobody more passionate about ski racing and they’ve been with me for some of my highs and lows in this sport. No matter where the race takes place my 87-year-old grandfather will find a way to make it.

Hidden talent: I love playing different kinds of sports and challenging myself but I have a particular fondness for squash. I played it for a few years and it always comes back quickly. I was the best player on the team this year.

If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? I would spend it skiing Champagne Powder in Kicking Horse, B.C. Nothing compares to waist deep powder at my favourite resort to free ski.

If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I’ve always loved the outdoors and I have a very analytical brain (sciences and math). Therefore I’m interested in the geoscience fields of study. 

When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: In the mountains, at the park, on my patio, or in my bed.

What’s the best thing about your hometown? The Calgary Stampede! For 10 days I’m allowed to be a cowboy, though my two-stepping skills don’t do me any favours. Also, having the mountains and the national training centre here is pretty awesome!

Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: My absurd amount of bands, sticks, straps, rollers, and muscle stims that I always have with me. Happy knees equal fast skiing.

Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season: Fondue or Raclette in France or Switzerland.

If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? A World Cup at Norquay in Banff down the Lone Pine! It’s far too steep but it has an incredible view of Banff and the Bow Valley and it’s my home club!

Where is your favourite place to race or train? Switzerland! The high elevation means awesome and consistent snow with beautiful weather. It also has some of the most incredible vistas, like the Matterhorn in Zermatt, and the Eiger in Wengen

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The ability to stop time. It would be very useful in any situation, especially the sticky ones.

If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? In the mountains close to a lake. Probably somewhere around Nelson or Montana. I never want to be far away from Canada and I love the outdoors.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road? Our team’s attempt at the cinnamon challenge one year ago. Although the video never surfaced everyone’s unique reactions to a spoonful of cinnamon were hilarious and very entertaining!

Who is someone you admire in sport? Thomas Grandi. His double giant slalom victory was ground-breaking and showed that Canadians could be successful tech skiers. He was also from my club and I got a chance to ski and work with him for a year at Alberta Alpine. While he was the president of Alberta Alpine he came out to race and train with us quite frequently so he became not only a role model but a friend and teammate.  

 

All Results

NATIONAL

Canadian champion - Slalom - Whistler, B.C. (2014)
Canadian champion - Slalom - Whistler, B.C. (2013)

OTHER

2012 overall Nor-Am Cup champion
2012 Nor-Am Cup super combined champion

Podiums
1st - Super Combine - Mont Ste-Anne, CAN (fév. 2014)
2nd - Super combined - Nakiska, Alta. (March 2013)
3rd – Super-G – Aspen, USA (Feb. 2012)
1st – Giant slalom – Vail, USA (Feb. 2012)
1st – Super combined – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2011)
1st – Super-G – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2011)
2nd – Super combined – Nakiska, Alta. (Dec. 2011)