Vancouver-born extreme skier McConkey killed in Italy


Vancouver-born extreme skier Shane McConkey

Vancouver-born extreme skier Shane McConkey

Photograph by: Handout, ..

Vancouver-born extreme skier Shane McConkey has been killed while jumping off a cliff with a parachute while filming a movie in Italy, according to news reports.

The film company Matchstick Productions confirmed his death on Thursday, Scott Gaffney, a longtime friend of his in Tahoe City, says the 39-year-old McConkey was an "icon and a legend" in their sport. He's survived by his wife, Sherry, and 3-year-old daughter, Ayla.

McConkey is known for combining base jumping with skiing, as seen in such feats as skiing into a BASE jump off the Eiger.

McConkey also won several national and international skiing competitions, including the X Games and World Extreme Skiing Championships.

The video below shows McConkey demonstrating his sport by leaping off the Whistler Peak2Peak gondola.


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Vancouver-born extreme skier Shane McConkey

Vancouver-born extreme skier Shane McConkey

Photograph by: Handout, ..


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April 10, 2009 - 12:22 PM
 Infinite blessings out to family and friends. R. I. P. May the good times and sweet lines carry you home Shane...
eric city
April 03, 2009 - 9:23 PM

didnt know the dude personally but i live in whistler and know exactly what type of person he was! to "aqua" and your horrific and completely uncalled for remarks... why bother? did you once travel to a ski resort and felt jealousy because the locals all seemed to be living their lives to the fullest? enjoying every minute of their lives? i would consider him a hero and you have absolutely no right to judge that consideration because it isnt yours to judge. go turn on cnn and watch your idiotic political powerhouse bomb the rest of the world and call them all heroes. Shane might have risked his life for something you dont think might have been worth it but thats your close minded opinion that no one needs to hear on this page! seriously people. what is up with the comments people write? its obvious that this is the only means for which these cowardly and insecure people can speak their ridiculous thoughts without any consequence. RiP shane! you inspired a lot of people and for that you are truly a hero! your legacy will live on!

Andrew B.
April 03, 2009 - 4:48 PM
 Aqua, I am embarassed by your lack of wisdom. The fact that someone is a celebrated extreme skier has absolutely NOTHING to do with war, famine, or poverty. If you would like to rectify the latter, I suggest you use your time more efficiently and stop commenting on issues which you know nothing about. Have you ever met Shane? Do you know anything about him, his family, or what he did? If you are so concerned about the state of world affairs, why don't you do something about it rather than take opportunistic shots at an unfortunate situation. You are a disgrace. Andrew
Trevor Suer
March 30, 2009 - 10:05 AM
 My sincerest condolences go out to Shane's friends and Family! A skiing icon and idol has been lost! Shane inspired others to ski, to try new things on skis and was a huge reason why the sport is where it is today. Thank you for the entertainment in your films and I will watch one for you today! RIP Shane!!
old fart
March 30, 2009 - 8:48 AM
 Canada has lost one of its finest athletes, a family has lost a loved member, and (much less importantly) I have lost someone who still inspired me - thirty years his senior. Grace, ability, skill, focus - he was a deserving champion. Those who don't quite get that, well I suspect you don't get Cloumbus, Shackelton, Neil Armstrong, rock climbers, Livingston, Radisson and Grossellier (heaven forbid, they travelled WITHOUT PERMISSION)... Rest in peace, Shane.
March 29, 2009 - 11:24 PM
 To Shane's family: My heart goes out to you losing your loved one. I have friends that are in the circus arts and get very humbled by watching an incredible ski scene or something from Cirque de Soleil. I love to challenge myself when i go skiing, and although i dont do very large drops - with my skill / talent level i'm probably more at risk of serious injury than Shane was. I just want to express how much i loved seeing him demonstrate what grace and dexterity (and humor) a human is capable of. If he is 1/2 the man he appeared to be, i know he will be with you in your heart for the rest of your life.
March 29, 2009 - 3:44 PM
 Hey Aqua, You're absolutely right when you say people will get mad at you for your comment. In his "useless" acts as you put it, he inspired thousands of people to pursue something they were passionate about and live life to the fullest. Inspiration is the mark of a hero. You're a drama queen if you think being sad for losing someone who inspired you is "worshipping" them. You also have a strange definition of ego. Have you ever heard him speak? He was the most humble person. Maybe your sarcasm-meter is broken. Also, nobody said starving people aren't important. How did you ever get that impression? If you think I need to re-check my priorities, you are too quick to assume. Just because Shane was a hero of mine, that doesn't mean I don't care about world issues. Maybe you should think about that before you rant. I and several of Shane's fellow "worshippers" have dedicated our careers to helping others who aren't the luckiest people. I think that makes selflessness a high priority on our part. Maybe you should meet everybody before you say they're "shallow" for being inspired by someone else. Maybe you should tell the children with cancer it's shallow that their dying wish was to ski with Shane (ie, Make-a-Wish foundation). To the rest of you, this was a freak accident on a stunt he'd performed several times. To him, doing this was as easy as it is for you guys to judge. I can't believe you people think he wouldn't care about his wife/daughter. Are you that eager to criticize someone? If you die in a freak accident doing your job, are people going to say you were selfish? Yeah, I know, you're going to tell me there's a difference between jumping cliffs and sitting at your desk job.
M enns
March 28, 2009 - 11:40 PM
 Wow some people are so judgemental it's sad. What right do you or I or anyone else for that matter have to judge someone in the way some of you are judging this man. Is a man with a child who goes to war or works a dangerous construction job to provide for their family to be scolded in this way when something happens? For those of you who know nothing of this topic (probably the most of you after reading through responses) shane was far from suicidal and had done this literally hundreds of times before. This was a freak accident and a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to his wife and daughter. To those earlier negative posters who don't see value in his accomplishments; here was a man who lived his life to the fullest. Who pushed the limits and innovated in his chosen field. A man who was passionate about sport and the excitement that comes with it, a passion many could use in this increasingly disinterested and flabby society. Everytime it dumps out and I'm rockin the fatties through the pow I'll think of u shane! RIP
March 28, 2009 - 11:06 PM
 With all kinds of respect for the life of Shane McConkey, I have to say that there are far bigger heroes of extreme sports walking among us. These are the guys who gave up the adrenaline addiction when they started a family. I took enormous risks (and incurred some dramatic injuries) when I was single and before my wife and I decided to have kids. But once we started this family, those days ended instantly. I miss the the rush to the point of craving sometimes, but I will never again willingly undertake stunts that have "consequences". It's a risky world in every way out there, but exponentially adding to that risk while those tiny, beautiful pairs of eyes are scanning the doorway awaiting the return of Daddy just isn't worth it. Soapbox or not, here's to all of you other heroes who catch my drift.
David Bellm
March 28, 2009 - 10:45 PM
 Couldn't Shane just have deployed the chute rather than use up the seconds trying and eventually getting the skis off ?
grow up!
March 28, 2009 - 8:49 PM challenged! Are you one of those mental minimalists that begs for the spotlight? Do you stay awake nights dreaming of how you can go out in a blaze of glory? Some people simply aren't impressed with devil may care showmanship, nor is everyone a groupie. Deal with it!
March 28, 2009 - 7:04 PM
 A Skiing Legend lost way too soon. Shane lived more life than any of you forum losers could possibly live in a thousand years. Have a little respect and save the soapbox speeches for your book club get-together. I know that i'd rather go out in a BASE jumping accident than falling off the toilet to my death in a retirement home. Shane died doing what he loved to do.
an inspiration..
March 28, 2009 - 3:48 PM
 Yes, he was a skilled skiier, but he lived and died for the pursuit of a totally superficial and narcissistic adrenaline rush. The irony of being a daredevil is, where's the victory when death has no applause?
March 28, 2009 - 2:44 PM
 RIP. A terrible loss for his family. I'll say this though and it will get people mad at my comment. We live in a soft world where people are starving, our Canadian forces are fighting a war we shouldn't be in and this guy gets treated like a hero. I am not in any way commenting on his home life. All fathers should be heros to their kids and family over all. What gets me here is people are worshipping the things this guy accomplished. Which I may clearly point out were quite stupid useless acts. This guy was a dare devil with a big ego and it got the best of him in the end. If there are poeple in awe of what this guy did they need to recheck their priorities. You read it right. This fellow was lucky to live the fantasy life he did. Too bad he lost his ife. I have not one once of sympathy for him personally. If he really valued his family he wouldn't have jumped off a perfectly good mountain. We need to check who our heros are. I say shame on the shallow general public if they worshipped him out side of personal friendship.
March 28, 2009 - 1:27 PM
 Not a lot of person can claim that they lived their lives to the fullest. I Never known Shayne personnaly, but he was for sure an exemple of determination, passion for his sports and love for life! The world need more person like Shayne! RIP
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