press release

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"Rocky Mountain House snowboarder seeking Canada’s support to achieve Olympic dream"

Salmon Arm Observer

"Okanagan athlete asks for support in pursuing Olympic dream"

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"Okanagan athlete asks for support in pursuing Olympic dream"

TheSports.org

"Snowboarding-Kennedy Justinen"

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2022 NorAm Season

With two World Cup under my belt and multiple Europa Cups, it was well within reach to rank in the top 3 overall on the NorAm Cup to receive a personal World Cup spot for the 2023 season.

The overall rankings are based on the athlete's best 6 results.  Pictured is a heat from the kickoff event in Banff Sunshine Village, AB.  Pictured on the left, I started the season strong with two Big Final results 2nd & 4th.  

Moving on to Gore Mountain, NY,  Big White, BC,  and Beaver Valley, ON  I found myself ranked second overall with the following results.  2nd & 2nd, 3rd & 5th, and 2nd & 3rd respectively. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the season progressed I found myself content but craving more.  I knew I could easily reach

my season goal to finish in the top 3 but with two events left, I dug deep for a win.  

Canadian Nationals were hosted in Mt. Orignal, QC and this course felt quite familiar.  I had placed in the top 8 two years prior so I was prepared to leave it all on the table.  I had the fastest time in qualifications, giving me the best gate choice in each heat.  I finished both the quarter-final and semi-final heats in 1st, sending me to the Big Final for the day.  With the help of my coach I chose the most direct line into the course and I finally won a race.  

Although I had won, it wouldn't have been an sbx season without a curve ball.  Two days after Nationals I tested positive for Covid-19 in an attempt to head to Copper Mountain, USA for the final event of the season.  

At this point in the season I was still ranked 2nd place overall.  I had positioned myself well-enough throughout the season that even though I couldn't race in Colorado, the worst I could finish was 3rd overall, based on other riders results.  Goal accomplished.  

Younger days

Rocky Mountain House, AB

I was born and raised in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.  My two brothers and I spent a lot of time playing outside.  Our parents encouraged us to use our imaginations and stay active.  I played many sports from swimming to hockey, baseball, soccer, gymnastics and dance. 


I learned to snowboard at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort at age 10, but I never got really good at the basics.  Growing up in Rocky, elite training programs weren't available for snow sports.  So I put my energy elsewhere...

I spent middle school & highschool playing more accessible sports.  Basketball was my favorite.  I was able to travel to Lake Louise, AB to snowboard on some weekends, but I remained cautious; in fear of getting injured and not being able to play ball.  
 

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Fresh adult ways

Kelowna, BC

From 2012-2015 I owned and operated a small business with my younger brother, we called it

QK Lawn Care. Together we maintained 36 properties May-October.  I moved to Kelowna, BC in November of 2014 and I spent most of my time on the slopes during the 2014/15 season.  I had seen a couple snowboardcross competitions in Big White and I was always drawn to the adrenaline rush.  I had a need for speed... (maybe that's why I was nicknamed KenBlock)

In 2017 I attended post-secondary at MC College Kelowna.  I pursued a trade as a Hairstylist.  I also spent a lot of focused time on the slopes, with friends who encouraged me to compete; after entering a fun race in Big White.
 

Competition Craze

Big White, BC

Every part of my life brings me back to snowboarding.  After competing for fun, I got in touch with the Executive Director of BC Snowboard & entered into a Provincial series in March of 2018.  I was excited and terrified all at once. 

I peed my pants a little in that first race...  I knew I was in the right place.  

I was the eldest competitor at this event, and the younger girls were fierce.  I placed 1st in race #1 and 2nd in race #2.  The coach that mentored me here, suggested I compete in Western Canadian Championships the following week.  It was there that I saw what the sport was REALLY like.  Specialized race boards, coaches brushing wax out of boards seconds before heats were dropping, and Olympic athletes from the 2018 Winter Games. 

I placed second last... BUT I got to watch the racing, see, feel and hear the intensity.  I also met a coach who has played a key role in my personal-development, on and off the sbx track.  I didn't know who they were at the time, however, I admired the way they critiqued the athlete's ability.  I was drawn to their constructive criticism and apparent knowledge of the sport.

This is me -->