Canadian National Ski TeamGeneralInterviewsLifestyleNewsRacingGoldsack Hangs Up Skis, Headed to Miami

Avatar Alex KochonJuly 20, 2012

Drew Goldsack laughs when he thinks about his elementary school days in Alberta, when Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers would come to class and proclaim that they hadn’t drawn their gun in 30 years.

A couple of decades later, Goldsack, who retired from skiing on Wednesday at age 30, saw a different side of law enforcement firsthand while visiting Miami. With a new career on the horizon, he’ll likely see more of southern Florida.

Drew Goldsack starting out the 10 k classic interval start at Canadian Ski Nationals on March 19 in Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec. Goldsack went on to place 14th and had a best result of seventh at this year’s nationals in the skate sprint.

The two-time Olympian and former Canadian National Ski Team member witnessed a day-in-the-life of the Miami PD through a longtime friend and cop, Bill Erfurth, who was a technical advisor for Bad Boys II. Before Erfurth retired from the police force and fully committed to filmmaking, he invited Goldsack on some of his shifts.

“The first time I rode along with Bill, I was in the car with him for like 10 minutes and he already had his gun drawn and was tackling guys in the streets,” Goldsack said in a phone interview from Canmore, Alberta. “It was just chaos. It was a little bit different world, that’s for sure.”

It was entirely unlike his experiences in Canmore, where Goldsack, who turns 31 in August, spent most of his years skiing and training with the Rocky Mountain Racers. A year after graduating high school, he made the junior-national team, and by 2002, was racing with the big dogs on the national squad.

Goldsack spent more than a decade competing at the international level, making it to three World Championships and two Olympics, and tallied several top-10s on the world circuit. In December, he notched a personal-best World Cup result of fifth in the team sprint with Lenny Valjas. Just over a month later, he crashed in a NorAm sprint final, suffering a concussion and shoulder injury.

With his rotator cuff still plaguing him this spring, Goldsack decided to reevaluate his career. He hadn’t really considered retiring until then, but his inability to train at full strength paired with the fact that he was losing his carded status in Canada – and the money that went with it – made him weigh his options.

“It’s been a tough decision,” he said. “Even the last race of the season, I was still thinking I was going to race this year, but it’s been a lot of small things.”

Whistler, crash, NorAm
Goldsack (c) after hard crash just before the finish of the NorAm freestyle sprints in Whistler, British Columbia, on Jan. 14. He broke his ski, suffered a mild concussion and pulled his rotator cuff, and was sidelined for nearly three weeks. (Photo courtesy of Angus Cockney)

A Senior Development Team member last year, Goldsack needed to jump up to the international level this season to remain carded and continue receiving funding. Allowed about 10 years to do so, a few of which Goldsack spent at the top tier before foot surgery in 2009 bumped him back down, he simply ran out of time.

“It’s a little bit ironic that this year was actually one of my best results ever with the fifth place in the World Cup in Dusseldorf with Len,” he said. “It’s a nice way to leave things, but it’s weird to think about because it’s also the year that I decided to retire, so it’s mixed feelings leaving that behind.”

While Goldsack contemplated his future, Erfurth, who regularly visits Canmore, offered to make him an associate producer of his Miami-based company, Modern City Entertainment. Goldsack had been joining conference calls for the last month and a half to test the waters, and decided now was as good a time as any to accept.

“It was a really good opportunity and something that I felt that may not necessarily be there in a year’s time so I decided to jump at it,” he said.

On Monday, Goldsack leaves for Miami for a few weeks, and this fall, his name will be on a new documentary, Heroes Behind the Badge, which sheds light on the lives of U.S. law-enforcement officers. He described the project as powerful and said his ride-along experiences with Erfurth were what connected him to it.

“It’s almost impossible for me to explain to someone, especially someone from Canada, what it was that he did on a daily basis,” Goldsack said. “He actually worked on the [2003] movie Bad Boys II with Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay …  A lot of that movie is based on Bill’s unit, TNT, which is the Tactical Narcotics Team. They use that name in the movie and it seems like, that’s Hollywood, those are crazy stories, but a lot of it is based very closely on fact and truth and things that actually happened.”

According to Goldsack, Erfurth also worked with Bruckheimer on the T.V. series, CSI Miami, and started a company of his own a few years ago. He has since produced two feature-length films, one of which is called Canvas and stars Joe Pantoliano from The Sopranos and Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden.

While Goldsack is excited about working in the film industry – and continuing to live mainly in Canmore while doing so – he was also dabbling in business as an assistant distributor for Stoneham Ski Apparel. He agreed to help his friend and former teammate, Dave Nighbor, expand the brand in Canada and will be heading the company’s efforts out West.

For Goldsack, it was a great way to stay involved with the ski community. Describing the product as “edgy and cool,” he said Stoneham already had clothing and headwear contracts, respectively, with the Alberta World Cup Academy and Alpine Canada.

“It’s funny because I think a lot of people have plans for their future, but also growing up as a skier and athlete, you learn pretty quick that it’s almost impossible to plan for your future, definitively anyways,” Goldsack said.

At this point, he was interested in learning more about producing movies and might consider going back to school to study something related. Or he might not, he said.

“I think I’m kind of the attitude of seeing what happens, see where things go,” Goldsack said.

While he wasn’t interested in coaching professionally, he envisioned himself helping as a volunteer, especially at local ski clubs. Regardless, he plans to stay involved with the sport in some capacity because that’s where most of his friends are.

“It seems like it was yesterday when I was new to the team and with the original group with Devon [Kershaw] and George [Grey] and Chris [Jeffries] and those guys,” Goldsack said. “It’s pretty crazy that’s it’s been over 10 years now with the national team. It’s sad too. It’s hard to think about moving on and not being with the team.”

Regardless, nothing will detract from his memories on the World Cup, at two Olympics and with the national team.

“Being at a home Olympics [in Vancouver] is something I’ll certainly never forget,” he said. “Just the support from the home crowd and being a part of the energy and excitement of the Olympic team that was the best Olympic team ever for Canada, those are memories that I’ll have forever.

“All the good times with my teammates are the big ones,” he added. “Results are good memories, but I think a lot of my best memories are all the laughs we’ve had and just the times hanging out on the road.”

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Alex Kochon

Alex Kochon (alex@fasterskier.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.

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