Class of 2022
Innovator and Leader in West Virginia Snow Sports
Instruction/Education & Coaching
Canaan Pollock was born in Columbus, Ohio. When he was four years old, his family moved to Red Creek, West Virginia, where he attended Hamrick Elementary School. When Canaan was in the fourth grade, his family moved again. This time, they moved to Freeland Road in Canaan Valley, where Canaan’s passion for skiing was born. White Grass Ski Resort blessed Canaan with lifelong friendships and a permanent “ski bum attitude.”
Canaan’s ski racing career began in the fourth grade when he joined the volunteer-based Canaan/Timberline Ski Team. Many of the team’s athletes were members of prominent organizations, including PARA (Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association) and SARA (Southern Alpine Racing Association). Team members also competed in the Eastern Cup Races in New England. Canaan felt privileged to ski with and learn from
athletes who could qualify for elite competitions and compete with the best on the East Coast.
Every winter, Timberline Ski Resort hosted the Women’s Pro Tour. The best female athletes in the sport took over Timberline Ski Resort for the season’s pinnacle. Canaan and the Canaan/Timberline Ski Team were allowed to participate in the event in several ways, inspiring Canaan and his team and only adding to his excitement for the sport. Canaan had the privilege of working under an exceptional coaching staff, including Fred Soltow, Tim Worden, Ted Fries, Carrie Hawkins, and Mark Fiorini. These coaches played significant roles in shaping Canaan’s passion for ski racing and encouraged him to pursue the sport long-term.
Canaan attended Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, on a full athletic scholarship for Alpine Skiing. He was the first West Virginia male resident to receive a full athletic scholarship to a West Virginia college for alpine skiing. While at Davis & Elkins, Canaan competed for all four years, earning All-Conference Honors every year. He also earned six personal podiums, two regional conference invitations, and one national invitation, all at the USCSA level.
Canaan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management & Tourism and moved to Snowshoe Mountain in Snowshoe, West Virginia, where he began his coaching career. Canaan and Keith Poore, another West Virginia great, coached the Snowshoe Mountain Ski Team. After three successful years and immense personal development, Canaan left Snowshoe to pursue other opportunities. He spent his summers on the North Island in New Zealand, establishing the first Ski Academy, Ruapehu Snow Sport. He spent his winters in British Columbia, Canada as a Head FIS coach. In 2010, Canaan was blessed to work with the forerunners for the 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Mountain.
Finally, Canaan decided it was time to return home to the United States, and he settled in Lake Tahoe, California, where he took on the role of Assistant FIS Coach for Squaw Valley Ski Team. Here he met his mentor, Konrad Rickenbach. After spending five years working with men’s and women’s FIS athletes, the program placed eleven athletes onto the US Ski Team. Canaan had the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the US Development Pipeline and, as a result, took advantage of new opportunities with the National Training Group, Men’s Europe Cup teams, and World Cup teams. In 2014, Canaan accepted the position of head FIS coach for the Diamond Peak Ski Team.
After many years as a head FIS coach, Canaan met his now wife, Elke Pollock, while on a training camp with NCAA athletes in Zermatt, Switzerland. He moved to Switzerland and obtained a head regional coach position at Unterengadin. After three years, Canaan accepted a full-time position with the US National Men’s Speed Team, where he reunited with several former athletes from the Squaw Valley Ski Team, including Bryce Bennett, Erik Arvidsson, Keely Cashman, and AJ Hurt. During the 2021/2022 season, Canaan supported the best in the world: Travis Ganong took third place SG in Beaver Creek, USA; Bryce Bennett took first place DH in Val Gardena, Italy; Ryan Cochran-Siegle took second place SG in the Beijing Olympics. This season also reunited Canaan with southeast ski racing legend Scotty Veenis.
Canaan currently lives in Ilanz, Switzerland, with his wife, Elke. After seventeen years of chasing the FIS, WC, and Olympic dream, he has settled into another position as Head Regional Coach for the Region of Surselva and works to inspire young athletes to hold onto that “ski bum attitude” he discovered all those years ago in Canaan Valley, WV: The heart of West Virginia ski bum land.