ALERT BAY—During the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, a substantial number of Alert Bay residents stayed up deep into the early morning hours to watch television coverage of hometown star Spencer O’Brien compete in the women’s slopestyle snowboard competition.
Last week, they got a much closer look at O’Brien — and didn’t have to give up any sleep.
The community honoured O’Brien May 27 in the ‘Namgis Big House in an event hosted by both Barb Cranmer and K’odi Nelson. Several hundred residents of Cormorant Island came out to recognize O’Brien’s accomplishments so far and to encourage her in future endeavours.
The Island’s youth were out in large numbers to dance, give thanks, ask for autographs, and pose for photo opportunities as O’Brien was garbed in traditional regalia. The evening wrapped up with a potluck dinner featuring three rows of tables filled with a wide variety of food.
O’Brien, who was born in Alert Bay in 1988 and who still has family in the town, is one of the world’s top slopestyle competitors. Though she failed to reach the medal podium in Sochi, her live television appearance in the finals drew large viewing parties to the local Canadian Legion Hall and to the Community Centre, where a large projection screen was set up on one wall.