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Shane McConkey Award announced at World Heli Challenge

This special new award for World Heli Challenge athletes recognises the male and female athlete in the competition who embodies free riding in the spirit that which the legendary Shane McConkey shared with the world during his inspiring 39 years of life.

Shane lived his life to the fullest, he had amazing athletic abilities, a creative mind and a hilarious sense of humor.  His persistence and non traditional thinking changed the sport of skiing for all. He came down for one of the very first World Heli Challenge events and loved the free spirit of the competition and the two-week gathering in Wanaka.

The World Heli Challenge celebrates this passion, drive and commitment and seeks to acknowledge the athletes who may not necessarily deliver the cleanest scores and perfect results in the competition but who inspire and excite with their riding and their attitude.

This award is about identifying those who blaze a new path, try something different, show fluidity, a sense of fun and keep their sport fresh and progressive.

In its first year the Shane McConkey Award has been awarded to skier Fraser McDougall and snowboarder Jessy Brown.

They have won a week at Points North Heli Adventures in Cordova, high in Alaska filming with Tony “Harro” Harrington and experiencing the majestic Alaskan mountains and heli-ski buzz first-hand.  We think Shane would have loved it!

About Shane McConkey

Shane was cut from a unique cloth of extremely talented skiers and fun and eccentric personalities. By 1993, Shane had won a Pro Mogul Tour event and his antics on the mountain, flipping, spinning and skiing where no one else would, landed him sponsorships with Spyder and Volant. Shortly thereafter, with an un-sanctioned backflip and a naked spread eagle his “HEY, look at me!! I’m-having-more-fun-on-the-snow-than-you-attitude” was born, and he never set foot at Vail, or in a mogul competition again.

It was Shane, who coined the term “Freeskiing”. “I preached long and hard to everyone that this new movement in skiing we were all part of should be called freeskiing and not extreme skiing. Extreme skiing is a specific type of skiing and only one part of what we were doing. The term was not accurate. What we were doing was free form skiing, free of rules and most any kind of boundaries. Whether it was steep, extreme descents or new freestyle what we were doing was freeskiing, free to ski our own style on our own terms,” he once explained.

Find out more about Shane, his legacy and the work of the Shane McConkey Foundation here.

Information with thanks from The Shane McConkey Foundation.

Cover photo with thanks to the Ski Channel

PHOTO: Court Leve

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Fraser McDougall and Jessy Brown – the inuagural winners of the Award

 

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