|at the New Zealand Winter Games, bronze medal.|
this was a National Geographic 'photo of the week.'
The Winter Olympics are approaching. Now, me, I don't watch that much sports on tv, but when the Olympics are on, I seem to glue myself to the screen. There is something about the Olympics, with the diversity of sports, the diversity of nations. Those five rings. That one flame. That stuff about youth and higher, faster, farther...
So it's very exciting to know that in 2014 in Sochi (and let us not dwell on the alarming press leaking from Russia about the state of preparedness, the civil rights issues, the fact that even parents of the athletes are still trying to get visas cleared) we've got a real live local hero in young Dara Howell.
|at the XGames, in 2013|
Dara -- and you've seen her face on CBC in the Olympic lead up ads -- competes in Slopestyle Skiing. Now, if your acquaintance with skiing is limited to the bunny hill and the apres ski celebrations, Slopestyle is that domain of the slightly insane complete with rails, ramps, jumps, twists, acrobatics.
You can watch her bronze medal run a the XGames here. That will give you an idea of what she does. And does exceedingly well. She is ranked in the top three in her sport.
She is not the first, nor the only, Olympian who has emerged from Muskoka, but this winter, she is certainly our Golden Gal.
Hailing from Pow Wow Point Resort, she learned to ski at local Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Centre, and don't for one minute think that the Ski Club there isn't behind her 100%.
At the recent Warren Miller film, Ticket to Ride, a portion of each ticket was given to her fund-raising. And, in the lobby, TEAM DARA was in evidence -- these keen, cheery faces belong to Team Dara members, local kids who are inspired and excited to know a real live Olympic athlete. They were selling these super t-shirts -- both long and short sleeved.
$35. What a deal. What a cause. If you weren't there for the film, you can still scoop up these shirts to support Dara's journey. They are available at Pow Wow Point Lodge, or from Algonquin Outfitters in Huntsville.
Go Dara! Just getting named to the Canadian Team is an enormous and inspiring achievement. We'll be watching, and cheering!!!