This action packed on and off-mountain event on March 17th will serve as a hilarious tribute to legendary skier Shane McConkey as pros and amateurs battle for the highly coveted Golden Saucer trophy and bragging rights.Celebrated for his playful spirit, McConkey was the mastermind behind the original Pain McShlonkey Open that debuted in 2003.
The event began as a behind-the-scenes late-night race between competitors at the 1998 Winter X Games and in 2010 the event took on new shape attracting top athletes from around the World.
“The mission,” says SMF founder Sherry McConkey, “is to celebrate the life of a man who revolutionized the ski industry and kept us on the edge of our seats with laughter – and in doing so we can support causes that Shane cared about.”
Hosted by the Shane McConkey Foundation (SMF) the event has raised over $186,000 for local non-profits over the last four years.
The event kicks off on Saturday morning as 30 of the World’s top winter athletes take on 30 amateurs in an anything-goes Hot Dog Downhill. Amateurs earn their spot in the lineup for this snowblade banzai by submitting an “Awkward Selfie” during an online contest.
Contenders include everyone from highly decorated Olympians like Daron Rahlves and big mountain skier Cody Townsend to everyday Joe skiers and snowboarders. “Snowblades even the playing field a little bit,” says Sherry McConkey. “The pros have the natural advantage but we’re all rooting for the underdog,” she says. “With a very ‘loose’ rulebook, anything can happen.” The winner will take home the coveted Pain McShlonkey Golden Saucer trophy.
Later in the morning, competitors will push their snowblade skills to the limits during the new Backwards Snowblade Slalom. This new addition is guaranteed to be a wildly hilarious crowd favorite.
“The idea is to remind people not to take themselves too seriously,” says Sherry McConkey. “Shane constantly laughed at himself and taught others to do the same and that’s part of his legacy that we want to celebrate.”
Next up is the PMS Costume Contest held alongside a huge raffle on Squaw’s KT Base Bar Sun Deck. This contest is open to everyone with great prizes awarded for best dressed. Awards will follow directly.
After the on-mountain antics, transcend into the belly of the 1970’s New York nightlife scene at the Studio-themed Shane McConkey Legacy Gala, held at the Squaw Valley Conference Center.
Proceeds from the weekend will benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Shane McConkey Eco-Challenge, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s environmental education programs and many more deserving charities.
The Shane McConkey Foundation encourages skiers, riders and resorts around the world to celebrate the spirit of McConkey year-round. “The best way to keep Shane’s legacy alive is to remember to laugh at yourself and live life to the fullest,” says Sherry McConkey. “Even if you can’t be here on March 14, you should still do something outrageously silly or show random kindness to a stranger in honor this amazing man.”
For event details, registration information, Legacy Gala tickets or to make a donation to the Shane McConkey Foundation, visit www.shanemcconkey.org.
Thanks for the laughs and reality check Shane. ♥