Norquay ski run tribute to racer

RON MANZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

It's been one year since an outstanding Canadian ski racer died suddenly of cardiac arrhythmia disorder.

Rob Bosinger was just 38 and had no history of heart problems when he died May 20, 2005.

The nine-year member of the national team, who had a career World Cup best of seventh in downhill at Vail, Colo., left behind wife Janet and two-year-old son Mats.

There was a dedication Saturday at Banff-Mt. Norquay in memory of Bosinger as the ski resort renamed the former Rascal run Rob's Run in his honour.

"Rob coached the Banff Alpine Racers K2 program for 13- and 14-year-olds for four years prior to his death," said his brother Peter, who coached with Canada's Alpine team for nine years and who just resigned after four years with the U.S. team.

"Rob loved working with those kids and helping them learn to become ski racers.

"This is a real nice tribute to his dedication and the work he put in giving something back to his community."

The tributes to Bosinger continue this month at Sunshine Village. The Gentle Giant GS race April 28 will give all its proceeds to sudden arrhythmia disorder research.

There is also going to be a silent auction in conjunction at a dinner Saturday night. The event will be limited to 32 teams and there are still a few spots open.

The first Bozo Cup Pro-Am dual slalom race Saturday is being staged on Pandemonium. The event was dubbed Bozo after Bosinger's nickname when he was on the national team.

There will be three divisions of pro, amateur and junior, while the course will feature big jumps, big air, bug rust and big shake-ups in an anything-goes racing style.

"There has been tremendous response for both of these events but particularly the Bozo Cup," said Peter. "We have a large number of former national team members with pros and big names in Canadian ski circles already committed to coming and participating.

"It's great because this is the one event we really want to see carry on for many years to come in memory of Rob."

Bosinger was instrumental in helping develop the spring head-to-head series through the entire seven years it has been staged, from the origin as the Crantini Cup, to the Kahlua Cup and Hoodoos Head-to-Head Challenge.

This event is designed as a celebration of Bosinger's life and love of ski racing. The entire weekend is capped off with the Felix Belczyk Kinder Cup April 30, where the K1- and K2-aged racers also do battle in head-to-head racing, although on a course with smaller jumps.

Anyone wishing to enter a team in these events can by contacting Lorne or Candace Webber at (403) 282-3353.

ADVERSITY FOR FORTRESS:

Once again red tape and political bureaucracy have thrown up more road blocks for the developers of Fortress Mountain. Two weeks ago, just hours before an expected announcement the Day Lodge would be opening for the remainder of the season, the resort was slapped with a stop work order from the Kananaskis Improvement District, an arm of the Provincial Community Development department.

"We were informed we must stop all renovations on the lodge and our condos until we obtain a development permit from them," said Zrinko Amerl, the president and GM of Fortress.

"We were also informed it could take up to 180 days before they would provide us with such a permit. This group was set up to monitor development in Kananaskis country but we aren't developing anything new, we are just renovating what has been here for decades.

"I don't know where this came from and I totally disagree with this action. We were never told we needed this permit at any time before."

As it stands, Amerl isn't allowed into the lodge or any buildings without a fire marshall escort. It means Fortress will continue to operate as a bare-bones resort with a rustic atmosphere until it closes for the season May 1. The food tent and porta-potties will be the norm until next season.

"We've been getting 300 to 400 people every weekend despite our current setup," said Amerl.

LIFT LINES:

The 20th annual Downhill Riders Sunpit Safari is scheduled for this weekend at Panorama. The key event is the Slush Cup that is open for a charitable donation. Prizes will be awarded for biggest splash, farthest across the pond, best costume ... Fortress Mountain is planning a Moonlight Madness evening for Thursday. For $50, skiers get to ski or ride under the light of the full moon from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The moon will provide the only light on the mountain ... The Powder, Pedal, Paddle relay race at Fernie Alpine Resort April 15 is a good test of endurance and staying power.

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CLOSING DATES

Closed: Kimberley, COP, Castle Mountain

April 9: Big Mountain, Whitefish

April 16: Banff-Mt. Norquay, Nakiska, Panorama,

April 17: Kicking Horse Resort

April 18: Fernie Alpine Resort

April 30: Lake Louise Mountain Resort

May 1: Marmot Basin

May 22: Sunshine Village


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