Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing is proud to announce the historical two-year sponsorship agreement to support Canadian World Cup athlete and 2018 Olympic hopeful, Erik Read.
MWHS founder and owner Mike Wiegele, feels that this significant partnership showcases a new era in slalom and giant slalom ski racing in Canada and is honoured to support Read to further his journey at the elite level in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup competition and for the major events in 2018 and 2019.
“We are so delighted to be associated with such a high level of athlete,” said Mike Wiegele. “We wish Erik the best of luck.”
Already a decorated champion – Read has claimed two Canadian Championship slalom titles, as well as the 2012 and 2016 Overall Nor-Am Cup championship titles. In his 2016-17 season, Read hit the top 10 on the World Cup in three different events, including a 7th in slalom of the world-famous Hahnenkamm-races at Kitzbuhel, Austria. Read is now aiming to earn a spot on the Canadian Team for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in Pyeongchang and the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Aare, Sweden.
“There is a lot of focus this coming winter on the Olympics and my goal is in the top 15,” said Erik. “After some of the runs I had last winter, I don’t think it is unrealistic to shoot for the podium.”
At a recent trip to Blue River to sign the official agreement, Erik and his father Ken, joined Mike in the mountains for a special day of reflection at the Grizzly Hut and to experience the beauty of the Cariboo and Monashees Mountains where Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing provides an exceptional powder experience in the winter months.
“Mike was my club coach,” said Ken. “He ran the program with the Lake Louise Ski Club – it was my initiation to skiing downhill.”
“Mike had a special vision for ski racing”, continued Ken. “It was built on hard work, using the entire day to ski, becoming comfortable in all types of conditions and instilling a love of skiing and friendship with their teammates.” He was instrumental in laying the foundation for quite a few young athletes who moved through to the highest levels of competition in World Cup and Olympics from both the Lake Louise Ski Club and the Bow Valley Quikies/Banff Alpine Racers.
The continuity of this relationship is very special, because Erik is also a graduate of the Banff Alpine Racers and Bow Valley Quikies Ski Club – which Mike founded with his wife, Bonnie, in 1978.
Over the next two seasons, this partnership not only assists Erik onto the next level of competition, but it also aims to carry forward Mike’s 50-year old dream of building the sport of skiing in Canada.
Now two generations have been a part of Mike Wiegele’s dream and 2018 guests at MWHS can look forward to Erik Read joining the Spring Fling festivities in April. According to Erik, the partnership feels like a big honour and Mike’s support will go a long way to assist in his dreams of aiming for the podium on the international circuit.
Erik and his teammates with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team “World Cup Combi Group” are in final preparation for the next training session which includes several race starts in the Australia / New Zealand Cup later in August. The first World Cup competition of the 2017-18 season is the traditional “Glacier Opening” calendared for October 28-29 at Sölden, Austria.