CLEARWATER ---- It's safe to say the back of a snowmobile is a happy place for Clearwater's Brett Turcotte. The 30-year old freestyle rider is coming off a double gold medal win at the 2018 Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado in January. Brett and his family organized a freestyle snowmobile show and drag race in Clearwater last Saturday as a way to say thanks to his hometown for the support.
"My wife and I put the idea together to bring the community together and give back to the sport of snowmobiling in Clearwater." says Turcotte.
The event was also a fundraiser for Easter Seals camps across the province, and as of last tally has raised over $19,300 to help support summer camps for youth with physical and intellectual disabilities.
"I kind of just dug in and got all my resources together," says Turcotte, "You know do something that's really fun and give back to the community and build funds and donations for the Easter Seals."
Snowmobiling runs in the Turcotte blood, with a number of Brett's family competing in the drag races on Saturday, including Brett's Dad Rocky, who says his son's success in the sport hasn't come as too much of a surprise. "He went away from racing and got into freestyle." says Rocky Turcotte. "He's the type of kid that no matter what, he will get as good as he possibly can, and dedicate his whole life to it, and that's what he's done."
Conditions on Saturday were ideal for racing --- but a headwind on the freestyle course made it hard for Brett to really send it like he wanted to off the ramp for the over 600 spectators who gathered throughout the day.
"That was the idea of bringing the freestyle show home, to give the whole town of Clearwater a look at how knarly the stuff that I'm doing actually is." says Brett. "Today we had headwind and it was really tough to get comfortable."
Turcotte's story of 2018 X-Games triumph was that much sweeter coming off some serious injuries over the summer.
"I had a real slow summer --- I was hurt with a broken tailbone and right ankle." says Turcotte, "The month of January I would just wake up and eat and breath snowmobiles all the way up until we went to Aspen. Tons of training goes in both physically and mentally -- the preparation behind the scenes, getting sleds ready and getting everything ready in the shop, so that when we go to Aspen we're 100% confident. I hired the best physical trainer in Kamloops I could find, Greg Kozoris, and we really just built a program --- and there was no reason for me not to go and win medals."
With all the success Turcotte has experienced throughout his career, he says he's happy to live and train in his hometown --- a place where he has built the skills that have launched him to the top of the freestyle snowmobile world.
"I really feel comfortable here" (Clearwater), says Turcotte, "The amount of distractions is real low --- if you want to go scare yourself and have some fun, you just go get on a sled and ride up a mountain. We're not going to the cinema every night and getting distracted. It's an oasis here and where my training compound is, very few people even know I have it. To be able to not have any distractions and just go to work is pretty amazing."
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