Students at Quest University in Squamish took a break from classes Thursday morning to watch classmates Roz Groenewoud, also known as Roz G, and Keltie Hanson compete in the first-ever Olympic women's halfpipe ski event in Sochi.
Hanson failed to qualify for the finals, but Groenewoud pushed to a seventh place finish, while a campus cafeteria full of students cheered her on.
Quest University offers an elite athlete program, something Dean of Students Melanie Koenderman said gives the school a uniquely engaged milieu.
"The work ethic and the level of drive they put into their sport translates into the classroom as well, so it's such a pleasure to have them here as part of our community," she said.
Friends and classmates supported Groenewoud by wearing some unique Roz G fashion trademarks, including bright lipstick and purple ribbons.Some students even wore purple underwear.
Friends of Roz G said her seventh place finish at these Olympic games will likely motivate her to push harder. They said Groenewoud takes her status as a role model for younger girls very seriously, doing everything she can to make the world of freestyle skiing accepting to up-and-coming young women.
The IOC banned athletes from wearing stickers on their helmets to commemorate the late free style skier Sarah Burke, who worked tirelessly to see women's half pipe in the games, but Groenewoud was permitted to compete wearing purple ribbons in her hair. Burke lived in Squamish with her husband and fellow freestyle skier Rory Bushfield.