Now I cannot say that Colin and I were ever close. He came to my high school for Grade 11 and 12 as all Cedar students had to move to Barsby for their final years as Cedar was only a junior high at the time. We didn't hang out in the same crowds. I do however, run by Colin and Kellie's place almost daily over the last 5+ years. Other than the rare FB message, our only communication was if he was out in the yard or drove by me when I was running, we would always exchange waves and say hello. Nevertheless, it was shocking to hear of his passing. Rest in Peace Colin.
That brings us to yesterday, I was on my dinner break at work and scrolling through FB and I ran across news of the passing of Steve Smith. Many of you probably don't know who Steve is, I certainly didn't until I met him in February 2013. Steve also well known as Stevie "Chainsaw" Smith, is a local athlete out of Nanaimo who is huge in the downhill mountain biking world. He was essentially Canada's downhill legend and a World Cup Sensation.
As I mentioned, I met Steve in 2013 when we both picked up Nanaimo's Individual Athlete of the Year awards for 2012. It turns out, I once worked with his Grandma and my mom and step dad are also friends with his Grandma and know his family.
Steve and I after the awards in Feb 2013
After the awards I stayed in touch with Steve via FB and the odd Happy Birthday or congrats text. I most recently had a brief chat with him this past November to wish him happy birthday as he turned 26. Unfortunately this past weekend, Steve was out living life like he does when he suffered a serious brain injury in a motorbike accident. He was ultimately removed from life support and passed on.
The sports world has lost a great athlete. I am shocked and heart broken at the loss of this local athlete. Not only was Steve talented, but he was so down to earth even though he was quite famous in the sporting (mountain biking) world. I admired his love and respect for his hometown. He probably could have lived anywhere in the world, but he stayed true to Nanaimo and constantly talked about the beautiful trails and scenery around here.
Again, I cannot say that Steve and I were close, but more like acquaintances who respected each others athletic talents. I urge you to watch the 3 videos below to get a glimpse into who Steve was. But first here is a quote from one of his teammates,
"A driven athlete and fierce competitor, Smith was humble and grounded off the track. He was a notable influence on all young and aspiring Canadian gravity racers and others around the world. He was also a key mentor to friend and DGR teammate, Mark Wallace."
Talking about how he just wants to ride bikes
His winning World Cup Run
Rest in Peace Steve