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Well, it’s been fun – but that’s all from Kieran Jones.

My two World Cup-weekend swing to Europe brings to a close my time at FasterSkier. In case anyone thought otherwise, they were both awesome, eye-opening, and unbelievably.

My writing for FasterSkier is going to be on hiatus for at least for the next four months, as I focus solely on coaching (the 40-odd athletes from 15-17 years old at Nakkertok Ski Club), and traveling around to a number of different awesome locations doing splits, waxing skis, and sleeping far less than I would choose to on my own.

The experience I have had at FasterSkier has been, in a word, great. I’ve always been a fan of skiing, as well as writing. FasterSkier put me in a position to see the ski world happening up close, to get in touch with hundreds of different people, to write stories I wanted to write, and most importantly to me, create a platform for Canadian skiing news.

But it almost didn’t happen. I appreciate the leap taken by Topher, Matt, and Nat when they selected me as an intern in the summer of 2010, picking this random kid from a no-where town in Canada who had no journalism experience, used a writing sample from his school ski team’s blog to apply, and literally had to have his hand held the first time through WordPress. I leaved heavily on my sense of humor, and the hope that people would appreciate it – like Nat and Toph most of you seem to have stuck with me on that front, and understood that ski journalism can be fun, exciting, interesting, and completely different from anything you usually read.

Nat especially had to suffer me longer and more intensely than anyone else – being my first point of contact, he was the primary editor of the really stinky stuff during the first four months, and thereafter. He had to endure long and painful Skype calls where he was forced to explain the basics of writing, interviewing, and why the U.S. keep running sprint qualifier-only sprint races when the rest of the world runs heats (but I digress…).

To all those who took the time to talk to me, sit through a painful interview, answered questions while grocery shopping, or did a post-race interview phone call during the Super Bowl (that would be Drew Goldsack), and thereby gave me the information needed to write stories, I thank you.

To all those who I talked to and never managed to turn your interview into a story – I’m apologize. I can only do so much – the fault was not with you, but me.

To all those who read, commented, pointed out mistakes, or gave me feedback personally or via e-mail, thanks. Your interest and enthusiasm pushed me to work harder.

To all those who hated everything I wrote – you’re in luck, you no longer have to see my by-line on the homepage!

But I do still have some loose ends to tie up. I have a few short articles that I want to finish and post before Christmas, and I want to stay in touch, maybe with some continued Canadian content, and I still follow the World Cup more than avidly, which can result in the occasional preview-writing experience.

I won’t flatter myself – I don’t imagine my departure will be much of a loss. Audrey Mangan and Alex Matthews have been home-runs in their short time at FasterSkier, and as the race season progresses, no doubt they will get even better. And I wasn’t much use last winter, as most people noticed.

The one thing I do hope for? A continuation of the Canadian presence – there is currently no dedicated Canadian ski news website in existence, and that hurts Canadian skiing. If you hadn’t picked up on the fact, I’m Canadian, and intensely proud of our ski program, skiers, and accomplishments, and feel they deserve more coverage.  Not just with their decision to hire me, FasterSkier has admirably stepped into that void in the last year or so, and I believe that they will continue to lead in that department.

I’m going to continue updating this blog for the winter – I have some back-bloggage to file, including my recent European adventures, a lobster-eating mess with Nat last summer, and I also hope that my winter will produce some interesting tidbits.

For now, be satisfied with a picture from the press conference last weekend in Davos:

World-exclusive photo of Kikkan having a rad time with Emil during the press conference in Davos, Switzerland last Sunday.

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