Sara Renner Wants Your Help In Saving The Planet
One would think Canadian cross country skier Sara Renner would have enough on her plate – training full tilt to get back on the Olympic podium in Vancouver, raising a young daughter with former alpine skier Thomas Grandi – without taking on the task of saving the planet, too.
But on Saturday, Oct. 24, Renner and Grandi will be leading a hike in their scenic town Canmore, Alta., as part of a world-wide movement to help stem the climate crisis. That day has been designated as International Day of Climate Action by the environmental group 350.org.
“To me, Oct. 24 is the second most important day in my life aside from the Olympics,” said Renner, silver medalist with Beckie Scott in the team pursuit at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Renner and Grandi will be leading the “Canmore Climate Crusaders” in a three-kilometre walk from the Civic Centre to Quarry Lake and some climbers plan to unfurl a huge 350 banner on an adjacent mountain.
The number 350 is considered the safe level in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide for the global planet. Scientists say that CO2 levels now stand at 387.
Renner is in the midst of a heavy training period, having just returned from a three-week altitude camp in Mammoth, Calif., but said she wouldn’t miss a chance to promote this cause.
“That’s the one thing that I’ve given my time to,” said Renner, who got to attend a speaker’s course put on by climate change guru Al Gore a few years ago. “It’s not time that I worry about. It’s time that gives me a little bit of sense of purpose.”
“Part of the hypocrisy of being an athlete and caring for the environment is that we travel so much,” she said. “Travel is really not a good thing to do. So the Play It Cool program is to encourage athletes to carbon offset their air travel. But as an athlete, I feel if I have a voice and I can do well I will use my voice to be a champion for the environment. To me, that’s just something I was really passionate about.”
Renner will do a short public talk at 10:15 a.m. mountain time and the walk begins at 10:30. People are being encouraged to make their own banners, paint their faces, wear Halloween costumes and decorate their bikes and dogs, too. The best 350 banner wins a day or cross country of alpine skiing with Renner and Grandi, a two-time World Cup giant slalom winner who retired last season.
Some other Oct. 24 actions across Canada can be seen here.