By Karen McColl
There’s no doubt about it; this guy has spirit.
Revelstoke resident Sean Cochrane finished in 18th place overall in the Canadian Freeskiing Championships on Sunday. Although this may not have been the outcome he was hoping for, he nonetheless gave a lively performance that pleased crowds.
Cochrane started Day Two in 13th place, six points behind the leader, meaning that reaching the podium was not entirely out of the question.
Today’s venue required a helicopter drop onto the ridgeline above Mackenzie face in Greely Bowl, outside RMR’s ski area boundaries. Due to weather complications that significantly delayed the start of the competition, it was after 2pm by the time the men got started.
Speaking before the competition, Cochrane made it clear that he wanted to make his performance worth the wait for spectators.
“We’re probably going to have to go as big as we can to make it worthwhile; I’ll probably go as big as I can.”
And he did.
The eighth male competitor to start, Cochrane came out hard and skied fluidly down the first half of the venue before taking a line over to skier’s left, an area yet to have been explored by previous competitors. Spectators were in suspense as Cochrane confidently set himself up and aired an impressive 50 foot cliff. That he did not make the landing did not damper the crowd’s enthusiasm, they loved it.
Although missing a landing in competition almost automatically knocks a competitor out of contention for the podium, Cochrane did not give up. He quickly recovered from his fall and continued with an aggressive line towards another cliff. He took this smaller, but still sizeable cliff, and took another tumble upon landing.
Cochrane arrived in the finish area snow covered but far from defeated as fellow competitors and spectators congratulated him. If the huge smile on his face was any indication, he was satisfied with his effort.
“That’s what these do, is challenge you,” he said, referring to the Freeskiing World Tour competitions. Cochrane placed 5th last year in Snowbird, Utah, his first FWT competition.
Although Cochrane has been living in Revelstoke since August of 2008, he did not have a home-advantage today as he had never before skied this venue.
Announcers gave Cochrane the first ‘Sickbird’ Nomination of the day, given to the most spirited skiers based on the crowd’s reaction. A Sickbird award is given at each stop of the Freeskiing World Tour.
Keep your ears open Revelstoke because this probably isn’t the last you will hear from Sean Cochrane.