WATCH: Millions of people across Canada were watching Cassie Sharpe win the gold medal and none are more proud of her than people in the Comox Valley. Dean Stoltz reports.
It all began for Cassie Sharpe on Mount Washington, long before she ever knew how good and famous she’d become.
But now everyone on the mountain knows her name and many were watching that gold medal performance Monday night.
“I thought it was pretty cool to have someone that local being in the Olympics and winning the gold medal.” said snowboarder Micgill Parcher.
“Oh it was incredible to see her and you know there’s a sense of local pride for sure that she’s from the island and you know everybody was rooting for her.” said skier Patti Ranahan. “I was totally impressed by her tricks and how high she got in terms of vertical. It was awesome.”
“That’s super cool, you know not a lot of people from around here get to make it to that level.” said snowboarder Jason Malcolm.
Cassie has numerous members of her family and friends in Pyeongchang to celebrate with.
Her father Don used to work at Mount Washington as director of businesses development and it may have been a stroke of luck that led her down this Olympic path. Her dad almost took a job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland 18 years ago instead of Mount Washington, but couldn’t get a work visa so the Sharpe family ended up in Comox instead. The rest is now history.
Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Sharpe went to school in Comox, graduating from Highland Secondary school in 2010. She was briefly on the ski and snowboard team but was already levels ahead of the other students.
“You don’t know at that age what students can accomplish and obviously she set her goals high and achieved them so you know she’s done a fantastic job.” said her former school ski coach Rich Swanson.
“It’s quite surreal to see someone that you’ve known and knew when she was a little kid to be the best in the world. It was a special moment. It was very nice.” said Highland Principal and Sharpe family friend Dean Patterson.
Sharpe isn’t the only Highland grad in Pyeongchang.
Snowboarder Carle Brenneman also graduated from Highland Secondary School.