Catching up with …Nathalene Hagar – Officials Chair for Alpine Ontario
Nathalene Hagar got hooked on skiing as a student while she was in Calgary on a four month co-op term. Paskapoo Ski Hill (now known as Canada Olympic Park) had an amazing 10-day package for $100 which included everything from bus to the hill, rentals, lift tickets and lessons. What better way to entertain yourself during a winter in Calgary?
“It was a great investment, and many thanks to somebody’s mom who helped me click into those bindings for the very first time,” Nathalene says.
Who knew her new found love of skiing would lead her to being an official one day.
As an active official since 2003, Nathalene was first introduced to the Alpine Ontario community through her kids who took an interest in ski racing at Toronto Ski Club. Now, Nathalene has honed her craft while working at World Cups, Nor-Ams, Nationals and Provincials, wearing many different hats, with a strong background in timing and race administration.
“There is great satisfaction in completing a race – working with the entire organizing committee and crew to provide an excellent competition experience for the athletes, coaches, officials and supporters,” says Nathalene as she speaks to her favourite part about being an official.
Timing is where Nathalene shines. It’s a hobby that she has a great talent and dedication for. People who know her can tell you that she can discuss timing for many hours on end. Her timing team is inspired by Formula 1 pit crews when they have to replace a broken finish post and re-align the photocells – they are always thinking of the athletes in spandex who are waiting at the start. Tenacious and full of passion, Nathalene is a staple on the slopes.
Nathalene is also privileged to work with a remarkable group of leaders in alpine ski racing who comprise the Officials Education Working Group. While working with them, she continues to help develop resources for officials in Canada, always giving back to her community.
There’s very little Nathalene doesn’t enjoy about being an official. She loves taking a moment to take in the breathtaking beauty of each ski resort she has had the honour of visiting and then sharing those experiences with friends and family as wonderful memories. The only thing that’s a little challenging are the very, very early mornings!
If there was one thing Nathalene would love the ski community to know it would be this:
“I would encourage people to help out at a race – there is a role for everyone, and many hands make light work! Our community is full of people who are there to support our sport. I have checked with my (now adult) children, and they and their teammates appreciate that their parents and many others spent hours preparing, then standing out there on the hill in sun, rain, snow and sleet, and then tearing down. Dress for success: layers, fresh dry socks and gloves, a cozy neckie.”
Nathalene is looking forward to this season and hoping for a more normal season than the last 20 months or so. She is such a pillar in our ski community and it will be fantastic to see her back out there alongside all of you this season! Make sure if you see Nathalene out on the hills to say hi and if you are curious about being an official or the skill of timing – she would be happy to help you learn more! For more details on becoming an official, please click here.