When you talk of high-caliber athletes who consider Golden to be their home, the list can grow to quite a length. From skiing to snowboarding and mountain biking to rock climbing, there are experts living amongst us. Dave Duncan is one of those experts on that list; his sport, ski cross. A sport described as NASCAR, motocross, and bull riding all jumbled together, the sport of ski cross is just starting to take off; the inception of the sport into the Olympics has certainly starting the ball rolling. The high speeds and carnage on the slopes is what is making the sport one of the most popular for viewers regarding Olympic sports.
So, when Dave Duncan made his way back to the Golden area for the Christmas holidays, the Golden Star saw it as a great opportunity to get to know the skier a little better and invited him in for a one-on-one interview. Here’s what we found out about Golden’s own World Cup Ski Cross athlete:
Golden Star: Being on the Canadian Ski Cross team is an amazing feat. So, how long have you been skiing for? How long as a professional?
Dave Duncan: I grew up in London, Ontario where I began skiing when I was five. The ski hill in London only has like 100-feet of vertical, I think it was built on a garbage heap (hahaha), but when you do a hundred runs a day, it all adds up to the same thing. As for professional skiing, well I have been on the ski cross team for four years now. Before that, I had a scholarship at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where I skied hard for five years. When it is all said and done, I guess I’ve been skiing for more than 25 years.
Golden Star: How long have you been calling Golden home? What do you think of the place?
Dave Duncan: I’ve been calling Golden home for over three and half years now. I love being in a small mountain town; the town is really great. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the help I have received, and continue to receive, from the community. But the thing I like the most about Golden is the fact that there seems to be a World Cup athlete for every sport around here. Every sport you try, there is always someone to push you a little further.
Golden Star: You have clearly been all around the world, skiing some of the best terrain out there. Where is your favourite place to ski, and how does it compare to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort?
Dave Duncan: There are tons of places I could easily call my favourite; I just love to ski. But, Engelberg, Switzerland has always been one of my favourites. Saying that, skiing right here at home is phenomenal! Kicking Horse is not world-class for nothing.
Golden Star: I see Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is one of your key sponsors. Who else sponsors you?
Dave Duncan: Yes, Kicking Horse is one of my main sponsors, but I am also sponsored by Stockli for my skies, Uvex provides me with goggles, lens options, helmets, sunglasses and back protectors, and Gabel provides me with my poles. Kicking Horse has sponsored me for three years now, but our relationship is now beyond simply a sponsorship; they are great to me. I also need to thank Dave Best from Best Impressions for revamping my website. He’s been great to me as well.
Golden Star: You were supposed to compete in the Olympics last year in Vancouver. What happened?
Dave Duncan: Yeah, it was really disappointing; it has been my childhood dream to compete at an Olympic level. I did qualify, which was fantastic, but I got injured on my first training run. It was something that just happens in ski cross; I was literally an inch away from landing safely, but instead I broke my clavicle. Nine screws and a plate later, I was out of the Olympics. Then my teammate Brady Leman stepped in for me, but he too got injured in training. Davey Barr was the next in line, and he ended up finishing sixth overall! The depth of our team is unbelievable.
Golden Star: What has been the highlight of your professional skiing career?
Dave Duncan: I finished second at the X-Games in Aspen, which was awesome. But, when I placed third in 2010 at Lake Placid on the World Cup circuit that is something I will always remember. I needed to be in the top five in order to qualify for the Olympics, and I got third! It was a feeling I will never forget.
Golden Star: What do you see for yourself in the near future with regards to skiing?
Dave Duncan: The 2014 Olympics! I refuse to end my Olympic career with an injury, so I am looking forward to qualifying for the next Olympics. And after that, who knows?
Dave Duncan will be skiing around the globe this World Cup season and will be keeping the world up-to-date with his happens online. To follow Dave on his impressive journey go to: www.dave-duncan.ca.