Sun Peaks Alpine Club (SPAC) could not ask for a better head coach than John Crichton. The former World Cup technical coach for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team will start his job with SPAC this September.
“Living out of a suitcase for the last five years, it’s really nice to be coming home and to just have that hometown feel,” said Crichton, who broke away from the adrenaline-powered, continent-hopping lifestyle to spend more time with his family.
Crichton was a coach for SPAC from 2000 to 2005 before becoming assistant coach of the national ski team. He helped coach the likes of Michael Janyk and Thomas Grandi to reap medals in World Cup ski races. He also coached the national team at two Olympic Games—the 2006 Games in Torino and the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Crichton plans to hone the same skills in Sun Peaks’ young athletes and get them off to a good start. “I really want to focus on the Nancy Greene program, and get it up and running really strong for the little guys,” he said. “There’s no real trick. It just takes really good fundamentals, good skiing skills and keeping the kids interested. That’s what we’d like to implement in the program—learn to ski well but also have a whole lot of fun doing it.”
“John has a proven track record of great success in every location that he’s planted his roots,” said Daimion Applegath, president of SPAC. “John is a positive person who always has a huge amount of energy that affects those around him in a positive way. He’s a role model, an athlete and a very successful person in his trade.”
A coach may not appear on the podium or receive much attention, but Crichton says it’s a fulfilling job.
“When my guys are in the start cage and stuff like that, I still get goosebumps,” he explained. “There’s still a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of adrenaline for me and I still enjoy that. I love the competition.”
Now, his job is to create a good foundation for these wide-eyed aspiring athletes so they can make it to the national team and be the future Canadian Cowboys.
Crichton still remembers coaching a young Elli Terwiel ripping down the hill chasing after her parents. “And then you run into her on the hill in France,” he said of the Sun Peaks local who is now a Canadian National Development Ski Team member.
“Coaching at that level (World Cup), there’s medals on the line . . . there’s definitely a draw there. But I want to be a little closer to home. You know, I think I can be just as proud too. I can get a few of the little Sun Peaks Alpine racers, and in a few years’ time, see them up on the podium or watch them on TV. That’s gonna be as rewarding for me.”
“I heard (SPAC racers have) been doing really well in the last two years and now I want to take them to the next level”.