Extreme Skier and Activist Guest Speaker at Junior Olympics Opening Ceremony

FasterSkierMarch 7, 2009

Alison Gannett

World-champion big mountain skier/professional mountain biker and global-cooling consultant Alison Gannett will present her “Global Cooling Ski Adventure Show” 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8 at Truckee High School.

Gannett is the founder of Save Our Snow Foundation and The Office of Resource Efficiency. Her goal is to raise global warming awareness using action sports as the conduit.

She was named a Green All-Star by Outside Magazine in 2008 and worked as a Global Cooling Solutions trainer for Al Gore’s Climate Project — helping build the first solar- powered plug-in-hybrid SUV in the world.

As an athlete, Gannett has won world freeskiing titles, was named Powder Magazine’s 1999 freeskier of the year and has been featured in Matchstick Productions, TGR and Warren Miller ski movies.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Q&A with Gannett on the eve of her Truckee stop:

What do you hope to accomplish with the presentation?
I want to inspire people and educate them on how to go green.

How important is it to talk to today’s youth about climate change?
Kids today know a lot more about global warming than adults. It’s going to affect their future and they are motivated to do something about it. They can also really influence their family. They are going to be stuck with the problems of this generation. It’s a depressing subject but there’s also a lot of opportunity (to make a difference).

Talk about your early days of competing and when you decided to ‘go green’.
I’ve always been a crazy environmentalist but when I was competing all over the world I knew my lifestyle was carbon consuming. I realized I had to walk the walk. After I blew both knees out competing in the 1999 skiercross at the X Games. I realized a lot of people didn’t know who I was and I wanted to contact sponsors who gave a damn about the other part of my life.

How hard is it to be an athlete and ‘go green?’
Definitely travel is the biggest part of my carbon footprint. I show people what I do with my life, I built a house out of local material, I drive a solar-powered SUV that gets 100 mpg, I have a ‘100-mile diet’ walking to the tops of peaks rather than talking a helicopter. It can get very confusing but you have to be systematic. I developed four steps to simplify it: ‘C.R.O.P” Calculating carbon footprint. Reducing carbon footprint. Offsetting carbon footprint. Producing own clean power.

How do you have time to compete and have time for research and activism?

I’ve always had separate lives. A lot of people think I am an athlete who adopted a cause but I was a cause who became an athlete.

How does your athletic experience help promote global cooling?

I feel global warming is kind of a dry subject so I bring in sports motivate people.

What is the biggest misconception about going green?

A lot of people want to be more green but they think you need to spend money to be green — but you can save money and save our snow at the same time. You can have the same kind of life and be green.

What are you working on right now?

I just got back from Washington DC where I was training Al Gore’s staff on Global Warming.

Are you going to do anything else when you are in Tahoe?

I’m going to go skiing of course. I’m also presenting at Patagonia.

For more information, visit alisongannett.com

Be sure to check out FasterSkier’s Junior Nationals Blog throughout the week for updates.


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