Shane McConkey, World's Greatest Skier 1969-2009
I met Shane in Tahoe in 1997. Red Bull was a tiny, start-up subsidiary in a little office in L.A., and it was athletes like Shane who helped make everything go. For a long time, one of the only ways to get a can of Red Bull in America was from Shane McConkey's garage in Truckee. What could be cooler than that?
For a mega-legend, Shane sure wasn't a massive ego. Confident, yes. But funny as hell, and always looking for the next adventure. If you were in the room, you were invited. There are too many Shane stories out there, and I'll leave them to others to tell, but my personal favorite was Shane unexpectedly dropping out of a low-flying helicopter and parachuting into the contest area at the 1999 World Extremes, pissing off the Alaska National Guard and entire Establishment of Valdez, AK, then politely apologizing..."I'm really sorry...I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that."
Only Shane could get away with s__t like that. What a spirit...what an athlete...what a person. Shane, you definitely made the world a more fun, adventurous, lighthearted place.
I encourage everyone to send their thoughts/prayers/vibes/money to the lovely Sherry McConkey and her beautiful daughter Ayla. Shane, you will be sorely missed and forever respected by all of us at ALINE. - Jeff Imperato