Cassie Sharpe of Comox celebrates the Island with a tattoo on her arm of Mount Washington, based on what she describes as a “sick aerial photo” of her home hill.
“I bring a piece of home with me to the world,” said Sharpe.
She has taken that piece with her to the final today of the women’s freestyle ski half-pipe at Genting Snow Park at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic gold medallist qualified sixth Wednesday for the final, which begins at 5:30 p.m. PT today. But her Olympic title will be tough to defend. One of the Beijing Games’ emergent stars, Eileen Gu of China, laid down the gauntlet. The California teen, competing for her mother’s ancestral homeland, qualified first with a spectacular performance.
Three Canadians qualified for the 12-competitor final — Sharpe, Rachel Karker of Erin, Ont., second overall and Amy Fraser of Calgary 11th overall.
Sharpe landed confidently on her surgically rehabilitated left knee, after devastatingly tearing her MCL and ACL at the 2021 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
“I have worked so hard these past 11 months to try to overcome and get ready for this moment,” said the 29-year-old Islander, who has Cassie’s Run named in her honour on Mount Washington.
“I’m [in] Beijing swinging, to bring home another medal.”
Her brother, Darcy Sharpe, is also an Olympian and competed in freestyle snowboarding at Beijing.
The Sharpe siblings are among the five Island athletes in the Games, alongside Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton in women’s hockey, Victoria-produced Adam Cracknell in men’s hockey and Teal Harle of Campbell River in men’s ski freestyle.