By Indrek Kongats
Every parent has the best intentions for their children and spends countless hours, and what seems like unlimited expenses, trying to give them the best opportunities to succeed. The success comes in many ways and sometimes in very spectacular forms. On Dec. 28, four Olympic hopefuls are returning to their roots— HoliMont Ski Club, where they developed their skills at an early age to become world-class competitors.
“Patricia Mangan, Robbie Andison, Megan Farrell and Darren Gardner all grew up skiing and riding on the slopes at HoliMont. Now they are in a position to chase down their lifelong dream of becoming an Olympic athlete,” states Greg Culver, the marketing, retail and rental manager at HoliMont.
These fine athletes are participating in a fund raising effort to help pay for their expenses and travel costs required to compete and qualify for the 2018 Olympic Team. The event will take place in the main chalet at HoliMont from 7 to 10 p.m. The athletes will be signing autographs and answering questions. At $50/plate or $100/family, this is a very worthwhile event and an incredible opportunity to meet with these world class athletes in their ultimate quest for gold.
Culver further explains, “Included with the event entry is gourmet pizza and finger foods from Dina’s. For your beverage indulgence, there is a cocktail reception with wine, beer and spirits, sponsored by local vendors Ellicottville Brewing, Ellicottville Distillery and Johnson Estates Wines. Also included is an autographed commemorative poster showcasing all four athletes. Please come out and support these promising young stars.”
Here is a short profile on each athlete:
Patricia Mangan – Hometown Derby, NY
Recent accomplishments for Patricia include: While on the D Team in 2016, she grabbed a pair of podiums at U.S. Alpine Championships in Sun Valley, ID and topped the super G podium amongst juniors. She’ll make the jump to the C Team in 2017.
It all started for Patricia (a.k.a. “Tricia”), who, at just two years old, when her parents strapped her and her twin brother, William, into a tiny pair of skis and let ‘em go from the top of the bunny hill. Apparently, William made it to the bottom first (debatable, she notes) and thereby won their first ski race ever. She then spent the majority of her early ski racing years chasing down William and trying to keep up with their two older brothers at HoliMont: a quest that sparked her love of competition and going fast!
More info about Tricia can be found at alpine.usskiteam.com/athletes/patricia-mangan.
Robbie Andison – Hometown Oakville, ON
Recent accomplishments for Robbie include: 2015 Canada Cup winner, Silver medalist at the 2015 Canadian Mogul Championships (dual moguls) and Gold medalist at the 2015 Canada Games (dual moguls)
Robbie Andison can’t ever remember life without skiing, having first been put on skis at the age of two. How he got into freestyle skiing, though, was due to the friendship he had with another one of Canada’s up and coming athletes. Robbie has been friends with rising slopestyle star, Evan McEachran, since childhood and when Evan invited Robbie to go to a water ramp camp in Lake Placid at the age of 10, Robbie simply couldn’t say no and was immediately hooked.
More info about Robbie can be found at www.freestylecanada.ski/en/team/moguls/?athlete=robbie_andison.
Megan Farrell – Hometown is Richmond Hill, ON
Recent accomplishments for Megan include: the only Canadian woman selected to compete in Junior World Championships in Japan. 1st PSL & PGS NorAm Cup, Copper Mountain 2015-2016, 1st PSL NorAm Cup, Le Relais 2015-2016, 1st PGS NorAm Cup, Holiday Valley Resort 2015-2016, 1st PGS NorAm Toronto Ski Club 2015-2016 and 1st PSL (Canadian) Speed Nation Nationals 2015-2016.
Megan’s family has had a membership at HoliMont since she was born. Megan started out like most people skiing, but switched to snowboarding when she was four to keep up with her older siblings and cousins who were on the snowboard race team for the club at the time. “Although it was not always easy, I recognized from an early age that hard work is necessary to be the best and I was happy to put in the effort,” she said.
More info about Megan can be found at www.pursu.it/pursuit/campaign/144.
Darren Gardner – Hometown is Burlington, ON
Accomplishments for Darren include: placed fourth at the 2011 FIS World Junior Championships in PSL and placed third at National Championships in 2010, overall NorAM title 2015/2016, Canadian champion Speed Nation Nationals (1st PGS, PSL) 2015-2016, 2nd PGS NorAm Toronto Ski Club 2015-2016
Gardner’s first memory of snowboarding is of him trying to snowboard on his toboggan, which led him to snowboard racing at the age of eight.
More info about Daren can be found at www.canadasnowboard.ca/en/team/alpine/darren-gardner.