Think Olympics and you can imagine the top athletes in the world competing on the biggest stage.
Their devotion to fitness, their natural talent, passion for sport and ability to defy odds to live their dreams put Olympians in a class of their own.
One event doesn't make an athlete, but it can mark the pinnacle in his career. It puts all the time and effort in perspective.
In freestyle skier Scott Bellavance's case, his persistence paid off with a trip to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Competing in the most significant multi-sports winter event on earth was a dream come true.
"I think probably my most memorable event would be the event where I qualified for the Olympics because that was more stressful than actually being in the Olympics, the actual qualification portion of it, because it's such a goal that you work towards for so many years," Bellavance said.
Bellavance, 34, may have grabbed the fourth and final Canadian men's moguls berth to reach the Salt Lake City Games. But a sixth-place finish on the Deer Valley course at the Olympics placed him above the three other Canadian representatives – Ryan Johnson, Stephane Rochon and Jean-Luc Brassard. Rochon and Brassard had competed in previous Olympics, with Brassard the gold-medal champion at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
The memory of competing in the 2002 Olympics has faded in recent years for Bellavance, although he said he's been asked about it more recently. The timing of his induction into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame this year is fitting considering the 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver and Whistler in February. It also seemed appropriate that Bellavance's wife Dreanne was due to give birth to their first child the same month as the Olympics.
A PGSS graduate, Bellevance skied competitively for 14 years, beginning with the Central Interior Freestyle Ski Club in 1989. Nationally, he's competed for the Canadian National Development Team and Canadian National Freestyle Team. He competed in junior nationals from 1989 to 1994, and senior nationals from 1995 through 2003. He quit skiing competitively after the 2003 season, a year in which he won gold in dual moguls at the senior nationals.
On the international stage, Bellavance won gold at the Nor Am Cup and Europa Cup, has two silver medals from World Cup events, and a top-10 finish at the world championships. He's coached at the Central Interior Freestyle Ski Club and has continued coaching at Momentum Ski Camps at Whistler.
Bellavance, featured in the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame following his Olympic performance in 2002, carries an education degree from UNBC and works as a teacher at Ron Brent elementary school.
Bellavance acknowledged the company he joins in the Hall. "It was nice to see the list and see the accomplishments of other people because when you're a kid you don't really pay attention as much to amateur sports because it's not in the news as much."