I, too, liked everything about Shane McConkey

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on March 26, 2009 5:00 pm

I spent four days with Shane before he left for Europe.  I had always admired Shane.  I grew up ski racing in Far West.  Shane was in a division above me, the same as my brother.  At the Junior Olympics to cheer on my brother, I vividly remember Shane, this skinny kid flying down the mountain, trying to overcome the early puberty weight advantage of others in his division.  He was fast.  Half the size of the mustache-bearing eventual winners, but a better, faster skier.

As the years went on, I’d see Shane up on the TV at some ski bar and remember that skinny kid flying down the mountain at the J-Os.

When the opportunity arose to hang out with Shane, I was ecstatic.  I’d do my one-man-band with Shane, shooting and interviewing him for a show on The Ski Channel.  A profile piece of Shane.  I had already interviewed him once before, and found him to be incredibly cool and humble. 

It’s rare when you meet athletes you’re a fan of and they’re much more in real life.  Shane was much more in real life.

Shane let me in.  He let me in his home.  Shared his family with me.  Shared his life with me.  The past week, I’ve been logging all the footage of our four days together, and the footage that kept making me smile was with his three-year-old daughter, Ayla.  He was so loving, so caring with her.  Shane was a special father.  Their bond was total love, apparent from the moment I set foot in the house.  Sherry, the perfect loving mother, is as smart as they come.  I’d ask Shane something and because of his aversion to say anything that might be remotely considered braggardy, he’d give me a straight forward answer.  But, Sherry would elaborate and give deeper meaning to my questions.  Obviously some of my questions were about the risks of her husband’s profession. There’s a moment where Sherry asks Ayla if she wants to base jump one day?

No.

Good girl, Shane responded with a proud poppa smile.

Robb Gaffney, close friend of Shane’s told ESPN, “The texts and calls are coming in, and you can really even feel it in the air in Squaw right now. I’m thinking about Sherry and his little girl. But in this area people have always loved Shane, so Sherry and Ayla, they’re going to have an immense amount of support around them. That’s one thing for sure; that’s Shane’s legacy.”

I, too, liked everything about Shane McConkey.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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