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Alberta Sled Dogs Alpine Course Crew
In 1988 a group of enthusiastic volunteers assembled to work as the Ladies’ Technical Course Crew for Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. High winds and higher temperatures created huge challenges for the entire Organizing Committee and consequently crews worked around the clock to get races off. The Course Crew determined that they were being worked like “dogs”.
The analogy morphed into that of a Siberian Husky; a breed known for its loyalty, intelligence, speed, endurance and its preference for the outdoors - also its ability to work hard and haul a lot of stuff. The Sled Dogs were born and quickly defined themselves by their work ethic and their ability to enjoy the festivities and when necessary, create them.
Today, the Alberta Sled Dogs are recognized throughout ski racing circles as the volunteers corps of the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup who come together to ensure the Men’s and Ladies’ races go off without a hitch.
The essence of a Sled Dog is captured in our brand. First and foremost he has a sparkle in his eye, a little bit of an attitude, confident, that “relish in the face of adversity” kind of a look. He is ready for the task at hand with his belt, drill and shovel at the ready as well a frosty beverage for the end of the day.
Being a Sled Dog is no ordinary volunteer job - work hard, play hard is the credo. The friendships, the laughs and the experience make it all worth while.
For some history about World Cup and Olypmic ski racing in Alberta and the genesis of the Sled Dogs, check out George Motter's Thirty years at the Lake. This seems to be a work in progress. For current goings on, look to Craig Smith's Sled Dog Blog