Home / Thoook News / Canada’s most famous ski pole now powers Sara Renner‘s kids on the trails

Canada’s most famous ski pole now powers Sara Renner‘s kids on the trails

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Sara Renner — former Olympic cross-country skier, rabid recycler, proud parent and Canmore, Alta., innkeeper — has finally answered one of winter sport’s most enduring questions.

“That ski pole has been made into the perfect length for a six-year-old. It’s being used on family adventures. It’s been cut down,” she said.

Renner’s eldest daughter Aria used the pole for years, then handed it off to middle daughter Gabi, who will almost certainly pass it to four-year-old Maya.

“I’m an avid recycler, so I felt good about it,” Renner says. “At some point I would like to make a community ski tree where everyone donates one broken ski to a Christmas tree and the star at the top will be ski poles of significance. So I do have a plan for that ski pole.”

That ski pole, of course, is the one Renner used, on an emergency basis, to win a silver medal in the team sprint with fellow Canadian Beckie Scott at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. That ski pole came from Norwegian head coach Bjornar Haakensmoen. Renner needed it because hers broke during the third lap of the six-lap race.

(Haakensmoen hands the emergency pole to Renner at the 1:00 mark of the video.)

“That was strange. I had never broken a ski pole before. Or since,” says Renner, who still skis with Scott in Canmore, but only recreationally. “I honestly do not know how that happened. In the men’s race that followed us, the Italians broke a pole and finished fourth. And a Swedish coach gave them a replacement. So it is common in our sport.”

Both the breaking and the donating. That’s why Haakensmoen downplayed the generous act of sportsmanship as a no-brainer.

Renner thanked him with a bottle of Barolo, the northern Italian wine. Canadians shipped him best wishes and tons of maple syrup. The two accidental stars ate pancakes together in Oslo shortly after the Games and led the 2006 Calgary Stampede parade on horseback.

“He was hilarious because he was sure he could totally pull it off in his Oxfords, that he didn’t need a pair of cowboy boots,” Renner says. “I was like, dude, if someone is offering to kit you out at the Calgary Stampede, you say yes.”

And when somebody breaks a pole, you offer up yours as a replacement.

Email: dbarnes@postmedia.com | Twitter:

Beckie Scott, left, and Sara Renner show off their silver medals after the women’s team sprint at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Thoook.com