Posted May 14, 2009 by Adam Toren in Blogs

Road to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Freestyle aerialsWho: Ryan Blais
Home: Grande Prairie, AB
Sport: Member of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team
Title Sponsor of Team: Canada Post

VancouverBC.com: What is your training/competing schedule like right now, and how will it be in the months leading up to the 2010 Winter Games?

Ryan Blais: “We just wrapped up the 2009 World Cup season and the 2009 World Championships-so, essentially, our competitive season is over. That being said, we still have two more weeks of on-snow jumping before the official end of the season. I am heading off to Vancouver to have a training camp and National Championships on the Olympic venue up at Cypress Mountain. This camp and competition will give us a little extra time on the Olympic site and is aimed at giving the Canadian team a bit of a home field advantage.”

VB: What other elements of preparation will you and the team focus on before 2010?

RB: “Our team has a huge support staff that we work very closely with. Other than the obvious technical training with our coaches, we also work closely with our team’s strength trainer, sport psychologist, physiotherapists, nutritionists, media relations manager, etc. We have a very strong Canadian aerials team and are both capable enough and expected to reach the podium in 2010. We are considered one of the strongest “technically proficient” teams on the World Cup Tour, so our focus has been to fine tune all of the other areas that will ensure we peak in 2010.”

VB: What advice would you give people of the Lower Mainland to get ready to host the 2010 Games?

RB: “My advice is for everyone to get involved in the Games in some way or another-there are so many opportunities. Register to try and run with the torch, volunteer, buy some tickets to watch your favorite athletes, check out the new venues (the Oval in Richmond is amazing), collect pins, start learning about Canadian athletes. These Games are Canada’s chance to shine on the world’s largest stage and I believe that it’s not only Canadian athletes that get to be in the spotlight; everyone has a chance to be a part of this great celebration. Take part in the cultural showcases. If you have room in your house, why not billet out to the family of a foreign athlete? There are so many ways that people can get involved in these Games. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

VB: How did you become involved in competing in this sport?

2RB: “I grew up skiing on a very small ski hill where the parking lot was at the top. I was a bit of a daredevil and there wasn’t much terrain, so me and my friends would huck ourselves off of any hill we could find. It didn’t take long before the ski hill was routinely pulling our passes for breaking the rules! One of my ski friends saw a brochure for a water ramp camp in Red Deer where you could go learn how to do backflips into a pond. It took about five minutes of discussion to round up three buddies to go with. Fourteen years later I’m still hucking myself into the air…not much has changed. I just take a lot more air now and minimize risk.”

VB: Aside from training and competition, do you also spend a lot of time staying in touch with the public?

RB: “I’m very much a nerd and spend a lot of time on my computer. Lately I have been learning a bit about Web design (hence my new Web site: airblais.com). I also spend a lot of time reading in the summer months. Although I don’t get home to Grande Prairie often, I am very involved in my community. I am the founder of the Come Fly with Me Foundation, sports ambassador for the 2010 Arctic Winter Games, honorary spokesperson for KidSport Grande Prairie and a member of David Suzuki’s ‘Play it Cool’ program.”

Photos by Mike Ridewood/Canadian Freestyle Ski Association

Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.