New Chapter

It is with great pride in writing you today, that I announce my retirement from Alpine Skiing.  In May 2004 I was first named to represent Canada as a member of Canadian Ski Team.  Over the past nine years I have got to experience what few people get to see and do in a lifetime.  Although I had always dreamed of being the first Canadian to win a World Cup Slalom, I leave my sport happy of what I have accomplished and with no regrets.  I have given it my all.  I have competed in two Olympics, placed in the top 10 at two World Championships, scored top 30 results on the world cup for 7 years, stood on top of the podium 4 times at the Europa Cup and 4 times at the North American Cup.  I leave knowing that I am among the top handful of slalom skiers ever to represent Canada.  It was a tough decision to leave the sport I love so dearly.  In the end it came down to health and commitment.  To compete and win I would have to get back to 100% health, which I estimated to be another year to year and a half after last year’s setbacks.  At this point in my life I was not committed to spend that length of time before returning to competition.

I want to thank everyone who pushed me to be my best, and those who inspired me to do things on skis I couldn’t have dreamed of.  A special thanks to Vernon Finckenstein for helping me believe in myself, and being my coach and mentor.  To my parents for their love, support, and all their sacrifices to keep me in ski racing.  To my teammates, thanks for making life on the road interesting, I’ll miss our adventures.  To my sponsors, especially Tommy and Lefebvre, thank you for all your support over the years.
I’m excited to enter a new chapter in my life.  I’ve recently graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B. majoring in Engineering and Studio Art. I will be marrying the woman of my dreams, Kimberly, in less than a year.  And I am excited for career opportunities in design and art.  For the time being I am focusing on my oil painting and giving back to the local ski clubs that has given me so much.  I look forward to spending more time with friends and family in Ottawa, and spending more time with my little boy Jackson who lives in Chicago.
Thank you to everyone for all your encouragement over the years.  Ski racing is much like the mountains, and a career in it has many peaks and valleys.  You guys got me get through a lot of valleys and helped me scale many peaks.
Please keep checking back on my website for info about my artwork and exhibits to come.  I have one oil painting I donated to raise money for Canadian Athletes at a gallery in Toronto. http://www.canadianathletesnow.ca/current-events/talent-supporting-talent-art-exhibit.html Take a look, and consider bidding to support another Olympian 🙂
Yours Truly,
Patrick