I’d like to thank The Chief for contacting me in Korea for an interview, and the piece that came from it titled “Squamish Coach Behind Olympic Gold Win” the other week. However, more needs to be said.
While it is true that I live in Squamish and coach the halfpipe team, and that we had a great result in Korea, there is a vitally important Squamish connection that wasn’t mentioned or recognized in the article. That would be Marc McDonell, also a long time Squamish resident, and the [assistant] coach of the Halfpipe Ski Team.
Marc has been coaching the Canadian team with me since 2011, and his contribution to all aspects of the team has been immeasurable.
In particular, his advice and counsel throughout the past Olympic cycle, with regards to the plan that we collectively put together for Cassie, was instrumental in the development, revisions, and execution of that plan.
Countless times, Marc’s cool head and thoughtful approach has been the perfect foil for my emotional and sometimes (or is it most times?) impulsive style of coaching.
Marc has also been one of my closest personal friends since the early 90s, and as such, I’m seriously ashamed that I neglected to make sure he would also contacted, recognized, and included in that article.
When asked “do you have a photo of you and Cassie?” I totally just should have sent this picture of Marc, Cassie, and I together.
Without all that Marc has done for this program, I would not be the coach I am today, and Cassie and the rest of the team would not be the athletes they are today.
That gold medal is in large part due to Marc’s work, and even though he’s the most humble person you’ll ever meet, I sure do hope he gets every bit of the recognition that he so very much deserves.
Trennon Paynter, Head Coach,
Canadian Halfpipe Ski Team