Collingwood’s Ron Westlake was a prolific ski racer carving the hills on the heels of Crazy Canucks Ken Read and Steve Podborski in the 1970s during the Canadian championships. At one national competition, Westlake finished third, right behind Read and Podborski, who finished first and second, respectively.
At the height of his ski racing career, Westlake finished on the podium in the Pontiac Cup series across Eastern Canada and competed in CanAm races throughout North America. He was also a regular participant at Ontario Championship events.
The runs at Blue Mountain provided the athletic training terrain for Westlake, who started skiing on hand-made skis at the age of two. Numerous pairs of skis later and in various roles as a racer, coach, instructor, and director, Westlake continues to hit the slopes 60 years later as a recreational skier and lifelong member of the Collingwood Ski Club.
Westlake coached the Southern ‘A’ ski team, and started the Jozo Weider Race Club, designed for non-private club members. He holds Level III accreditation in both the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and the Canadian Coaching Federation. He was a Ski and Snowboard Director for 18 years at Blue Mountain and worked in the ski industry for 34 years. In 2015-16, Westlake received the 40-year member recognition award from the Canadian Ski Alliance.
Sports have played a major role in Westlake’s life. As a youth, he was an active participant in Collingwood hockey and figure skating clubs. Westlake traded in his skis for boats during summer months, winning the Georgian Bay Sailing Regatta and was the Commodore of the Collingwood Yacht Club. He has explored the depths of Georgian Bay as an avid scuba diver and member of PADI. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Westlake was Collingwood’s Athlete of the Year in 1974.
On October 22, 2016, the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame welcomed Ron Westlake as an enshrined member of Collingwood’s sporting history.