Snow Bum 2 whittled down to top 20 entries

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Norm Lim Sang’s photo doesn’t only show his passion for snowboarding, it probably conveys his euphoria accurately in being chosen as the Most Votes winner for the Snow Bum 2 competition.

Norm Lim Sang from Calgary snatched the Most Votes prize with an astounding 4,475 votes. He’ll receive a Salomon outerwear and equipment package and a day of lift tickets for himself and six friends.

“I’m stoked to finally win this contest,” said Sang who also competed in the first Snow Bum contest.

Sang joined the contest in the beginning of February, and with the help of friends and social networking, quickly moved up the ranks to secure the top spot.

“I’ve been social networking long before the advent of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “I have over 1,500 friends on Facebook, so mobilizing that network to help me win this contest was not so difficult of a task. It was redemption time and our social network bullet train ripped across the finish line first.”

But the contest is not quite over. The Best Photo chosen by a panel of judges will receive a six-night stay at Sun Peaks Resort for the winner and three friends, up to $1,000 each toward airfare, a five-day lift ticket pass for each person, equipment rentals and a personalized winter video shot by renowned videographer Kevin Hagell of Kaizen Visuals.

On March 1, the grand prize winner will be chosen among the top 20 entries which includes Jan Cmela’s. While Cmela’s photo of sitting forlorn with a snowboard on top of a “snow hill” at a Wal-Mart parking lot does paint a story, there’s more to it than that.

Diagnosed with cancer last year, the Winnipeg native couldn’t afford to go snowboarding in Sun Peaks this year. She came across the Snow Bum 2 competition and decided to join.

“I’d love to go so I can get away because it’s been a tough year,” she said. “I’ve also used it to keep a positive attitude and to work towards something that’s fun and isn’t all about hospitals and going for checkups.”

Cmela said the idea for the photo was conceived after brainstorming with her brother who’s in Sun Peaks.

“Our ski hill in Winnipeg is actually a ditch. We don’t have anything here,” she explained. “So he said, ‘Maybe build a mountain in your backyard.’”
It wasn’t exactly her backyard, but the local Wal-Mart parking lot had enough snow to pass off as a ski hill. Cmela posed, teenage son in tow as the reluctant photographer.

“I took the picture 10 weeks after surgery,” she said. “I’m much better physically now. It was something that I used to get me back going physically.”

Asked how she got 3,000 Facebook Likes and over 3,200 votes, she said “I only have 380 Facebook friends, but they’re good friends. I have a lot of people that have passed the word on for me (and said) ‘Let’s get behind her . . . let’s win this!’”

Melanie Simmons, Tourism Sun Peaks’ media relations, said the website was visited by over 21,000 people since the launch.

“It’s been fun to watch people vote. What we’re looking for is very similar to what we looked for in the original Snow Bum contest, and that was people showing creativity in their photo, a passion for winter, trying to use the logo, doing something fun and unique,” she said.

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