Fairmont skier not coy about return to racing

Sue Coy has been skiing since the age of two and recently entered the 32nd annual Over The Hill Downhill ski racing competition

A Fairmont woman who built a career around speed, then left the sport of competitive skiing for 32 years, has found the spark to revive an old passion in her life. Sue Coy has been skiing since the age of two and recently entered the 32nd annual Over The Hill Downhill ski racing competition at Silver Star Winter Mountain Resort through the suggestion of her nephew and famed ski racer Benjamin Thomsen. “When you turn 50 you look back at your life and you see a reflection of what you did and what you’re going to do and I just said, ‘I am going to ski race again,’” Sue added. “I am thankful that my nephew Benjamin is on the national team and I am able to borrow a pair of skis, curved poles and a one-piece suit that he wore last year.” Although she had left the sport when a coach told her she was too old to continue racing at the age of 19 and after breaking her collarbone during a brutal accident while racing in Kimberley during the 1981-1982 winter season, Sue earned a gold, silver and bronze medal at the Over the Hill Downhill held on February 8th and 9th. Hitting speeds of over 115 kilometres per hour, Sue came first place place in her 50 to 55 age category, second in the masters team event and third overall out of 22 other female competitors, some of whom were half her age. The Fairmont local credits her strong starts out of the gate with much of her success. “The start to me is the most critical aspect of the race because you can win a race with a good start, and then of course being aerodynamic and maintaining a tuck for as long as you possible can throughout the whole course is important as well as having fun,” she said, “When I would get to the bottom of the course I would be giggling because I felt like I was 18 again.” In addition to the loan of professional 210 centimetre race ski’s from her nephew, Sue also received a chemical advantage from her teammate and wax wizard Boyd Calloway, who professionally tuned skis for Alpine Canada, the Europa Cup and the World Cup, she said. “He knows his skis inside and out. He did not just put on wax, it was more like, “I put on this stuff, with this stuff, with this stuff and this stuff and they were fast!” Although it would appear that competing comes naturally to Sue, before her departure from the sport during the 1982 season she had plenty of practice, competing in more races than she can remember all over North America. Beginning with the Nancy Greene program at Mount Norquay, Sue started competitively skiing at the age of five. “We were always skiers in my family, so my mom put us in the Nancy Greene program and it kind of took off,” she said. “Next thing I know, I am 14 years old and going to the Canadian Juveniles. I climbed up the ladder pretty far in ski racing.” Sue’s most cherished memory from her ski career was during a race at the Canadian Nationals held at Mont Saint-Sauveur outside of Quebec City during the 1980-1981 season. “I came down the course and usually the first five to six spots at the Nationals are all held by national team members and I was the first provincial team member behind the national members.” The most memorable aspect of the finish for Sue was when Canadian Sports Hall of Fame member and ski racing star Laurie Graham ran from the stands to personally congratulate her. “That was probably my best result and happiest moment,” she said. With a racing renaissance started in her life, Sue has begun planning a new chapter of racing adventures starting with her next big event, the Masters ski racing competition at Nakiska Ski Resort scheduled for the end of March. “With the masters you score points and from those points you can be named to the national masters team and then from there I hope I can, providing money allows me too, race in the world masters and go to Europe.