Snowboarding - Craig Kelly
Craig Kelly (1966 - 2003) was an inspiration and role model to snowboarders around the world, and some riders even called him the best snowboarder ever. The snowboarding legend was one of seven backcountry skiers killed when an avalanche rolled down a mountainside in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia on January 20, 2003.
Craig Kelly was originally from Mount Vernon, Washington but lived in Nelson, British Columbia. He was one of the '80s pioneers of snowboarding who helped develop the popularity of the sport to where it is today. Craig began riding when he was 15 years old at Mount Baker, Washington where he and some friends formed a posse called Mount Baker Hard Core. They fought to allow snowboarding at Mount Baker, and Craig would later take that fight to resorts around North America. Craig Kelly helped snowboarding gain acceptance at a time when snobby, uneducated skiers thought the sport was nothing more than a fad. Craig was known for his smooth, graceful riding style and he won four World Championships during his 15 years as a pro.
When he wasn't riding snowboards, Craig Kelly was helping design new boards and other gear for Burton Snowboards. He also appeared in dozens of snowboarding and ski videos which featured him riding through powder in some of the world's most remote areas. Craig Kelly will be remembered for opening up the slopes, and the sport of snowboarding, to riders around the world. His death shows that no matter how experienced a boarder or skier is, they're no match for the power of an avalanche.