It’s a story that brings Cool Runnings to mind: Peter Adam Crook, better known as Earl, will be heading to Sochi to compete in the Olympic Games, and he’ll be doing so representing the British Virgin Islands. Located in the Caribbean, just to the east of Puerto Rico, the BVI aren’t exactly on most skiers’ maps. Nor is this cluster of islands associated with any sort of outstanding wintersport talent. Except for Earl, of course.
Having just released his 2012/13 season highlight reel, we checked in with Mr. Crook to discuss his season, his involvement with the newly formed BVI Ski Association, and the road to Sochi.
Can you believe it’s August? What’ve you been up to lately?
Hardly, this summer has flown by! Lately I’ve basically just been enjoying my time off and utilizing the last bit of summer. I’ve been to California a couple of times to go surf, skating a bunch in and around Park City, camping occasionally and mainly just having a good time with friends.
This new 2012/13 highlight reel is hot off the press. Tell me a bit about your season.
Last season was one of my favorites so far. I managed to make it through the whole season without injury, I had my first big podium, I got to travel to a bunch of new places, and was able to film a lot more than usual which I was really stoked about. All in all, I just had a really amazing time.
What’s up with the BVI Ski Association? That’s pretty much an oxymoron.
Haha, I guess you could say that. The BVI Ski Association is essentially a branch of the BVI Olympic Committee. It enabled me to get FIS approval to then compete in World Cups and start building points that count towards the Olympics.
You were instrumental in its foundation. What was the biggest challenge you faced when lobbying for establishment of the organization?
My dad and I formed the BVI Ski Association three years ago. I’d say that the biggest challenge we faced was initially putting the concept before the BVI Olympic Committee. We had the task of explaining to them exactly what halfpipe skiing was. There was definitely some confusion as many had never been exposed to the sport and there certainly isn’t any snow in the BVI! Once we got the approval from the Olympic Committee we submitted and applied to FIS and waited for the confirmation which came shortly afterwards.
You spent time in the BVI in June, speaking with youngsters and raising awareness of freeskiing. How did the kids receive your message? Did anyone look at you like you were crazy?
I definitely got some funny looks because it was a lot of people’s first time ever seeing freeskiing, or any sport to do with a halfpipe, jumps, rails… I spoke at two different schools on Tortola. One of which was the school that I used to attend, so that was a really awesome experience. I wanted to inspire these kids, let them know that they should set goals for themselves, and that anything is possible if you put enough hard work and effort into it. It was something new to me and I really enjoyed it. I hope to do more motivational speaking like this when I return in October.
You’ve qualified for the 2014 Olympic Games. You’ll be representing the BVI. What excites you most about the prospect of competing in Sochi?
For one, I get to represent my country at the Olympics, which, to say the least, I’m pretty thrilled about. I think everyone will be skiing the best they ever have in front of hopefully the biggest crowd and audience we’ve ever seen, which will make it a really fun contest. I’m just excited for the whole experience.
How are you preparing for the Games? Have you adopted a special training regimen or are you keeping things more or less the same.
In preparation for the Games I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary. Recently, I’ve been skateboarding a bunch and have done a little bit of surfing in California. I don’t spend a huge amount of time in the gym, but I try and keep active the whole time. As for preparing on skis, as I mentioned earlier, I filmed a ton toward the end of this season which I found helped me tremendously. It motivated me to learn new tricks and I was just having the time of my life every time I skied which was just about every day. Keeping a positive attitude and having fun are two things I’ve come to learn help me the most in preparing for events and better my skiing as a whole.
A big shout-out to my parents, my coach, Armada, Electric, UKI, and the BVI Olympic Committee for everything they have done for me! Also, I just made an athlete page—if you’d like to follow me throughout my travels and check out content daily, give me a like! www.facebook.com/peteradamcrook.