The Voigt family takes two things seriously: their motorcycles and snowboarding.
As the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games quickly approach, the Voigt family will combine both after joining the games as the presenting sponsor for snowboarding at Vista Ridge.
“From our perspective, we knew it was more about their respect for Vista Ridge and their respect for the sport and understanding what it takes to have an athlete in this sport,” said games general manager Michelle Toner. “We felt like they would have a real understanding of the need for support.”
The understanding and partnerships stems from the athletic pursuits of Brooke Voigt, who was recently re-named to Canada’s national snowboard team and is eyeing a spot on the Olympic team in 2018. Learning to snowboard at Vista Ridge is what got Voigt into the sport at a young age.
2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games general manager Michelle Toner speaks at Saturday’s announcement. Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network.
Though she doesn’t recall competing at a previous Alberta Winter Games, her exploits at the Arctic Winter Games more than make up for it. Eight medals — seven of them gold — helped open a door to Voigt, getting her on the national scene and eventually the podium in international competition.
“It was a big part of what got me going into the bigger events,” noted Voigt who attended the announcement Saturday at her parent’s Harley Davidson store in Gregoire. “It’s a good stepping stone so I think it’s really cool that my parents are supporting that.”
A giant novelty cheque for $ 10,000 was also exchanged as part of the agreement, helping out the Winter Games to meeting their goals.
“There’s already a huge volunteer component working behind the scene to make sure the games are executed,” continued Toner.
McMurrayite Brooke Voigt poses for a photo Saturday in Gregoire. Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network.
While these events no doubt helped athletes like Voigt and others to find their way in their respective sport, she said she’d be the first to share that the results athletes will get in February 2018 are by no means an indication of prowess in the field.
“I think it’s going to open their eyes to let them know see if it’s something they’re actually wanting to pursue and if they really do enjoy the competition or whatever it might be,” continued Voigt.
She also shared her hopes for local riders, hoping that one may find success on their home slopes come games time.
“Nothing’s nicer than competing in your own backyard,” said Voigt. “You’ll feel your best and you’ll probably ride your best too.”
A temporary tattoo of the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games symbol. Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network.