It’s difficult to keep a low profile in a small town, but Olympic snowboarder Matthew Morison has done just that in the two summer seasons he has lived and worked in Valemount.
The 26-year-old’s dream to fly brought him to work for Yellowhead Helicopters and this fall he was endorsed as a pilot, having completed his apprenticeship. This winter, he hopes to fly downhill at the Sochi Olympics.
He has won numerous medals from the World Cup, the first gold in 2007. Morison’s latest victory was a silver at the 2013 World Cup in Switzerland. When Matthew Morison made his Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Games, he hoped to stand on the podium for his country. But an injury before the Games prevented that. In December 2009 he broke his left elbow but he still finished 11th at the Olympic Winter Games 23 days later.
According to the Canada Snowboard team website, Morison watched his dad craft snowboards in their garage when he was young. He also looked up to his brother who competed in and around Oshawa, close to the tiny rural community of Burketon, his hometown. He would ride every 300-foot hill he could find from opening to closing. The Canada Snowboard team website says once high school was over, with the help and good advice from a former World cup competitor, Brandon Hune, he made the transition to a world-class athlete.
Morison will compete in Sochi in men’s parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom. Parallel slalom is a new event added for the Sochi Games, meaning he has two shots to win medals. Races are scheduled Feb 18-22.
The outdoors enthusiast was quoted in a Clarington This Week article last month saying Valemount is “a beautiful area, big mountains, big glaciers, lots of wildlife … It’s just an incredible, incredible place.”
Yellowhead Helicopters has accommodated Morison by giving him the winters off to train.
Morison was not available for comment from Sochi by presstime.