For someone who has seen a lot of snow in his career, Levi LaVallee was still impressed with the amount of it when he came to Cochrane last week from Minnesota.
LaVallee, a professional snowmobiler, is considered “one of the most influential ambassadors in the sport of snowmobiling” according to a press release that was circulated prior to his arrival in the community.
LaVallee has earned the title of a Snocross Champion, 13x Winter X Games Medalist (8 of those medals being gold), first person to attempt a double back flip on a snowmobile, named one of the top action sports influencers by ESPN, and holds the current World Record for longest jump on a snowmobile (412ft). Levi started his own professional snocross racing team in 2009, Team LaVallee and most recently started a video series on YouTube, called Livin LaVallee.
LaVallee and his entourage were in Cochrane as part of the Hometown Ride initiative to promoted the sport and get to know various communities for which snowmobiling is important.
The visit was in partnership with Polaris Snowmobiles, Destination Ontario, NorthEastern Ontario, On Snow Magazine (OSM) and Snowmobiler Television (STV).
LaVallee arrived in Cochrane late Thursday, Jan. 31 but was out enjoying the community early on Friday.
The Cochrane Times-Post caught up with him at the Cochrane Classic Vintage Museum where he had the chance to see many snowmachines that were older than he was.
Although, he said it wasn’t his first time to Canada, it was his first trip this far north.
“We are excited to ride here,” he commended, noting that he doesn’t get to ‘ride, ride’ often because of his busy schedule so he was looking forward to getting out on the trails to try them out.
“It has been awesome thus far,” he said. “We looked at the polar bears and we scored there, there was one at the fence post.” He said it almost looked like the bear was waiting for him.
Apart from the museum and the Polar Bear Habitat, LaVallee was going to take in a Crunch hockey game and was getting the honour of dropping the puck.
He spent Saturday out on the trails and enjoyed a light lunch at Floods Landing’s new chalet before heading back to the states.
The crew acknowledged Polaris, Destination Ontario, NorthEastern Ontario, The Best Western Swan Inn, and Bourque Automotive/Polaris for making their Hometown Ride possible.