X Games competitor has sledding in his blood

Kamloops professional snowmobiler Brett Turcotte to compete in the X Games

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in professional snowmobiler Brett Turcotte’s case, that has proven to be true.

Turcotte will be the only Canadian competing in the Jan. 22 winter X Games in the Speed & Style category. How did he get to this level of competition? He learned his craft from his father.

“My dad owned a snowmobile dealership. He and I were riding snowmobiles every weekend that we could through the winter. That’s where it kind of came naturally for me,” he said.

Turcotte raced snowmobiles professionally for 13 years before deciding to focus more on his family. Now he is passing his knowledge on to his kids.

“They love it. I’m sure that they’re going to grow into it naturally like I did,” Turcotte said. “They’re definitely paying attention to stuff that I’m doing so I’m sure that they’re going to follow suit.”

After he quit racing, Turcotte found himself drawn to snowmobile tricks in the backcountry.

He often practices at Sun Peaks, Crowfoot Mountain and areas in Revelstoke.

Pro snowmobiler Brett Turcotte practices his tricks before this year's X Games. (Brett Turcotte/ Submitted)

Pro snowmobiler Brett Turcotte practices his tricks before this year’s X Games. (Brett Turcotte/ Submitted)

Filming his stunts gained Turcotte a social media following and sponsorship, which paved his way to competing in the X Games. He has been in the competition five times, even winning a silver medal in the Snocross category in 2008. This will be his first year in the Speed & Style category.

“There’s three jumps, where you get judged on your style, trick difficulty and the extension and how good the trick looks,” Turcotte said. “Then there’s two laps of a Snocross course where they time you, and between those two things it gives you an overall score.”

“I’m going to be doing a back flip, a back flip no-hander and a super flip,” he said.

Turcotte said the super flip takes the most commitment to learn and will be the most visually exciting.

“It’s a ‘Superman’ but upside down. My feet will be hanging off the back of the snowmobile and I’ll be following the rotation of the snowmobile but just hanging on with my hands.”

Contestants will be eliminated from the round robin competition, which leads to quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals all taking place on Jan. 22.

Turcotte has never been a stranger to the spotlight, but his global attention reached a new high when a promotional video of him jumping his snowmobile off a cliff in Barriere went viral, reaching almost half a million views on YouTube.

“It was probably just the ‘wow’ factor, like the shock of those rocks being so close and being in the air for so long,” Turcotte said. “It’s like for the average person that’s pretty unbelievable to watch let alone even attempt. For me on a daily basis that’s more or less my job.”

Turcotte is grateful for the community support he has received and plans to continue teaching his craft to his children and local residents who want to learn how to do snowmobile stunts safely.