When he’s flying between trees and soaring off of massive jumps, Sam Kuch makes it look easy to accomplish your dreams.
The Nelson native visited Trafalgar Middle School on Dec. 5 to show off his new ski movie Return to Send’er.
“Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to be a professional skier and I was always in competitions when I was young,” said Kuch. “This movie was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and at first I was skeptical, but then I just hopped on it and rode it out and here I am skiing in a movie.”
Kuch has already won two awards for the film, one for Best Male Freeride at the Montreal film festival IF3 and International Athlete of the Year at the High 5 Festival in France.
I spoke to Kuch about how the movie came about, and how working hard can make for great memories.
For readers in your words, how did you get here?
Well, I’ve always wanted to be a skier ever since I could remember as a little kid, and it’s always been something I’ve pushed for and wanted. I guess essentially by the time I started getting good at skiing and into it, it was kind of the community of Nelson, and different connections and different people in the community that pushed me into where I’m at today.
Along the way, what was your biggest struggle?
I think my biggest struggle was really just the decision whether I want to pursue skiing and live that life of travelling and kind of discomfort my whole life or if I wanted to pursue something more lucrative, like a more regular career. I made that decision when I first got the opportunity to go film the movie and realized that it was something I’ve always wanted to do, so I said screw it and jumped right into it.
How did this movie affect you?
It affected me personally because it’s kind of like a hurdle that I’ve jumped over. I’ve always wanted to do this and it’s just personally an achievement of mine. On top of that it’s really boosted my career into overdrive more than anything else that I’ve done so far. From this movie I’ve gained a bunch of new sponsors and more opportunities to get further in my career.
What’s your advice for the kids of Trafalgar?
I know it sounds cliche, but follow your dreams if you have [them], especially in the Kootenays where it’s kind of hard to be noticed or seen. If you persist and keep up what you’re doing without feeling like you’re not doing enough, just continue doing it. Either you’ll get noticed or your voice will be heard.
And what’s your advice for the dreamers who live for the snow?
Basically just have fun with it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be the best because the moment you put too much pressure on yourself and get the idea that you have to be a certain way or level, that’s when it becomes less fun. As long as it’s fun you’ll always be going at your hardest and skiing for the fun of it.
Wendy McIntyre is a Grade 8 student at Trafalgar Middle School