Brent Bottomley – athlete, coach, leader, pioneer – was a driving force behind the ski community in Manitoba for more than 30 years.
If you have a story &/or photo to share, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add to this page in memory of Brent.
While I was a young Member at Large on the CCSAM Board of Directors, Brent was a great mentor for me. I learned a lot from Brent about diplomacy and the importance of communication. As a coach, I remember Brent making us ski up the “hills” at Windsor Park while saying “I looovvveee hills.” Brent always had a smile on his face and a kind word to share. I wish his family and those close to him my deepest sympathies.
I met Brent a long time ago (30 years) while cross-country skiing and racing. We shared many good adventure at the Birke and a few social events. He was an amazing person with a convincing personality. I admire Brent for many reasons. He always gave me pointers to help me go faster or help my technique. Even though he wasn’t coaching me he was always ready to help. Brent and Kim had this great wedding a few years ago and I’m grateful to say I was there. This is a shock for all of us who knew him. We will miss you Brent, Manitoba cross country skiers lost a great pioneer, may the spirit live for a very long time.
Brent was my ski coach. He invited me to join his women’s ski team after I passed him in a local MTB race. I said, “Brent, I don’t know how to ski!” He said, “That’s no problem. Give me 5 years and I’ll turn you into a ski racer.”. I never did ski very fast but those years on Prairie Storm were some of the best times in my life – even those windblown -30C nights skiing up Springhill with “the puke level up to here” and that smile on Brent’s face saying “there’s no place I’d rather be!”. 18 years ago, at the finish of the Keskinada Loppet, after a brutally slow and record breaking cold 55km ski, I crossed the line probably close to dead last (the rest of the team had already showered I’m sure) Brent was there cheering like a mad man and picked me up in a bear hug like I had just earned Olympic gold. I’ll never forget that. Still brings a tear to my eye, especially now.
Brent was also my boss at CCSAM. He had an extraordinary sense of humour and our (almost daily) phone conversations would always end with us laughing at one thing or another. I’m not talking chuckles either, I mean full on belly laughing. Just one thing I’ll miss about the man. One of the best I’ve ever met.
Brent appreciated an occasional fine red wine and I promise I’ll think of Brent every time I raise a glass of the “essential electrolyte replacement”.
I met Brent in January 1993 at a Skate Camp, a month after I bought my first pair of skating skis. He was the instructor who helped launch me into my enjoyment of skate skiing.
I served under Brent on the CCSAM Board during his 2nd stint as Chairperson from 1999 to 2009. It was during this time that I really got to know him, observe how important cross country skiing was to him, and appreciate his complete dedication to it. The Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba went through some difficult years in the late 90s and early 2000s as a result of three poor winters (for skiing) and other factors. Brent’s return to the Board was instrumental to reviving CCSAM, and to the current vitality of cross country skiing in this province. His vision for the future motivated many people to help make it happen during those years.
Brent and I raced in the same age category in 4 out of 5 years during a 20+ year period. I never finished near him in a classic race. For skate skiing, my finish position relative to his was one indicator that I’d had a good race … friendly competition.
I am grateful to have worked with Brent and skied with him, and for his immense and longstanding contributions to my favorite physical activity.