Cassie Sharpe was already well-known around Mount Washington but when she brought her gold medal back to the Comox Valley after the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang she was a worldwide freestyle skiing star.
Now she’s qualified again and heading to Beijing as the defending ski half-pipe gold medalist.
“Absolutely I’m nervous, it would be crazy to say I wasn’t,” Cassie Sharpe told CHEK News from Calgary where she was training Friday. “But I think I’m allowing myself to take a bit of the pressure off and have some fun and enjoy myself and make the most of my time over there.”
She’ll be joined by her younger brother Darcy Sharpe who missed qualifying in 2018 but has qualified for a strong snowboarding team and his first Olympic appearance in Beijing.
“Everybody is really good vibes, everybody is really excited and focused so I think we’re going to have a really fun time,” said Sharpe. “We’re going to get some good results and yeah I’m just stoked to experience it all.”
The Sharpes spent their childhood on Mount Washington where their father Don Sharpe was general manager for many years and credit their time there for getting them where they are now.
“The whole staff at Mount Washington was really nice to me, they all treated me like I was their kid,” said Darcy. “I could run around the offices, run around the restaurant, I was like totally that local grom at the ski hill, it was a pretty sick upbringing, a pretty sick way to grow up on a ski hill.”
“Growing up on the hill, I mean it has created our entire identities and the reason we’re at the Olympics,” echoed Cassie.
The Sharpes have are now based in Squamish and Whistler.
They’ll be joined in Beijing by another freestyle skier from Campbell River who also grew up on Mount Washington Teale Harle. He placed 5th in free-style skiing slopestyle in 2018.
Rounding out the squad of Olympians from the island is Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton who was a late cut in 2018 but will be patrolling the blue line for Canada on the women’s hockey team.