Saturday September 26, 2015
Justin Trudeau built for speed and risk, says snowboarding pal
more stories from this episode
- How well do you know the party leaders? Take our quiz
- Elizabeth May could have had a career as a Harry Potter party planner
- Did you know Stephen Harper wasn't always a Conservative?
- Tom Mulcair staged a high school sit-in... to bring back recess
- Justin Trudeau built for speed and risk, says snowboarding pal
- My canoe trip with Justin Trudeau
- Full Episode
One of Justin Trudeau's closest snowboarding buddies, Sean Smillie, says the Liberal leader is, "one of the most dangerous people in the world to snowboard behind."
While Trudeau wasn't reckless, Smillie said he wasn't safe, either. "As someone who spent a lot of time riding with Justin, it was always touch and go."
Back in the '90s, when Trudeau was a student at the University of British Columbia he would drive up to Whistler on weekends. Once there, he'd crash on Smillie's couch and teach teens how to snowboard for a program called Ride Tribe.
Smillie has high praise for the Liberal leader's skills as a teacher. He said Trudeau was great at motivating sullen teenagers with an enthusiastic game of Simon Says, often starting snowball fights to get their attention.
"Regardless of their skill level, Justin would always make sure they had a blast, running up and down the mountain," Smillie said.
"Justin was one of the most encouraging teachers I've ever seen," Smillie said.
Just a few months ago, the two friends got together for dinner one night in Vancouver and reminisced about the '90s with other snowboarding pals.
"Justin's enthusiasm [for politics] pretty much matched his enthusiasm for being in the mountains, snowboarding and hanging out with friends," Smillie said.
"He's still the guy I knew back in Whistler."
DNTO's special episode about the personal stories behind our party leaders airs Saturday, September 26th at 3 p.m. on CBC Radio One.