MARC-ANDRE PARALYZED IN BC
When skiing in British Columbia in early April, Marc-Andre Belliveau suffered an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He fractured his spine and permanently damaged his spinal column as he tumbled into rocks after losing his line in a technical area. Stand Strong Again set up a fund for him to help cover medical bills and outfit his house to make it wheelchair accessible. Marc-Andre is now back on the snow and skiing big lines in his sit-ski, not letting his injury keep him from his passion.
“Everybody’s stoked that he’s back on the mountain,” says friend Dash Longe. “He just has that love and passion for being out in the mountains. It’s so natural for him to be on snow and skiing. He took to the sit ski so quickly, even all of his instructors were amazed. But seeing him not have things as readily at his finger tips as your I definitely makes to realize not to take things for granted.”
THE RISE OF THE HIPS
Every year, there are tricks or sessions that stick out as the pinnacle of that season. In 2005, June Mountain built a massive hip jump where newcomers Andreas Håtveit and Jacob Wester could display their skills for PBP’s Release, War. The following season, just down the road at Mammoth Mountain, another enormous hip was constructed that Tanner Hall, Jacob Wester and company sessioned for PBP and The Bigger Picture lenses. Some of the most memorable imagery in recent years was produced from these two sessions.
“I think [hips] are arguably the coolest features ever built. They showcase the highest airs by a skier or snowboarder. To this day, I still think that people have gone the highest off those two hips.” — Chris O’Connell
TARGET SIGNS SIMON DUMONT
Until this point, there had been very little non-endemic corporate sponsorship within of freeskiing. A company dropping some cash to sponsor an event was about the best anyone could hope for, à la X Games. But when Target signed four-time X Games medalist Simon Dumont in 2006, this marked a certain level of mainstream success. It was now viable for corporate sponsors to not only pay athletes, but invest in promoting our sport on a larger scale. “After being involved with snowboarding, vert skating, BMX and freestyle motorcross for years, we felt it was time to look at other disciplines within action sports,” says Target’s Troy Michels. “Freeskiing could not be ignored — the sport was turning heads and we knew exactly who fit the Target brand and our program the best — Simon Dumont.”
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.