Follow my journey as a Students Live reporter through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond!

Friday, January 29, 2010

North Van Pride

Being a North Van girl, I was very excited when I heard that Drew Neilson had made the Olympic Snowboard team. Drew started snowboarding 12 years ago, after watching a James Bond movie with an intense snowboard chase. But boarder-cross is only 4 years old to Neilson. Drew competed in the 2006 Olympic Games, and was the top of 36 in his qualifying round but in the elimination round another racer fell and sent Drew flying off the course. The North Vancouverite is 35 years old and he is claiming these Games to be his last shot at an Olympic medal. Drew is a father to 2 young boys, who I'm sure will be cheering loud and proud for their daddy at Cypress in February. Flying down a hill at 58 mph, shoulder-to-shoulder with 5 other racers takes a person with a lot of courage and not a lot of fear. On the off season Drew says he trains with Play Station, swimming and mountain biking. Neilson once had a superstition where his girlfriend has to paint his toenails purple before his races. That tradition is no longer running, but maybe his wife will have to re-start the tradition with red toenails, and white maple leafs :) The boarder said that the worst job he's ever had was working in the parking lot of Silverstar mountain in -60 degree weather. Neilson says he likes to listen to Led Zeppelin while he races. I am very proud of the North Van boarder. It's looking like the North Shore is producing a large number of the athletes; Manuel Osborne-Paradis is also a North Vancouver boy, and Maƫlle Ricker is from the North Shore as well. There must be something in the air here!

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