The entire country watched Monday night, as Comox’s Cassie Sharpe laid down the top two runs of the entire competition to win the ladies’ ski halfpipe gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The reaction on social media was immediate, and vast.
From celebrities and fellow Olympians, to the prime minister himself, the congratulatory shout-outs were making the rounds all night.
It’s not often that anyone is recognized by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
But the PM himself was “out-cooled,” when Ryan Reynolds expressed his Canadian pride.
The Reynolds tweet grabbed the attention of the champion herself:
And there was reaction from the hill as well. Two-time Canadian Olympian Perdita Felicien posted a video of Cassie’s parents, Chantal and Don, the moment the gold medal was won.
Closer to home, the excitement flowed, with viewing parties at private homes and local eating establishments throughout the Comox Valley.
“I think we all watched it with a bit of nervousness… but it was a great result and certainly something that we are all really proud of,” said Comox Mayor Paul Ives.
Cassie has been recognized by the Town of Comox on previous occasions. She was a recipient of the Ray Crossley Youth Achievement Award in 2012.
“It’s pretty cool to see that,” said Ives. “A lot of those young people have gone on to bigger and better things as time goes on, but I think this is the first time we have ever seen someone win [an Olympic] gold medal.”
Where does it rank all-time in regards to individual achievements for a Comox athlete?
“Well, a few years ago, we had some Olympic athletes from the past honoured; people like Susan Kelsey (swimming, Montreal 1976 – bronze medal 4x100m medley relay), I think Tom Hershmiller was another one (rowing, Athens 2004 – silver medal in coxless four; Sydney 2000 – seventh coxed eight), but certainly in recent memory, I think this is one of the biggest accomplishments we have seen.”
Ives said the Town will discuss options to officially recognize Sharpe at some point, once scheduling and availability is worked out.