“Sam & Me”: Professional Skier Mike Douglas Learns Mentorship in Age of Climate Anxiety

This short film deals with the problem of climate anxiety caused by ecological degradation – and shows how it can foster positive change.

You may know Mike Douglas as a professional freeskier, trainer and initiator of the backflip 720. But in addition to pushing powder around the mountain, Douglas is a vocal ambassador for the Protect Our Winters climate change foundation.

You probably don’t know teenage skier Sam Tierney, at least not yet. At 13, Tierney was extremely concerned about climate change. So worried that he began to suffer from chronic anxiety and depression.*

Feeling generally helpless, Tierney wrote to Douglas asking for advice.

“As a professional skier and ambassador of Protect our winters Canada, it’s not uncommon for me to get messages like this, ”said Douglas. “But this was the first time I had received one from a 13-year-old boy and also from someone so seriously concerned about the future.”

Douglas quickly took Sam under his wing. A year later, the couple skied, defended and channeled their climate anxiety for the greater good.

Duration: 30 minutes

Filmed and produced by Switchback Entertainment and Solomon.

* The official term coined in 2017 by the American Psychological Association is “climate anxiety,” and it’s pretty common. The phenomenon can affect anyone, but studies show that climate anxiety has a disproportionate impact on children and young people.

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Jilli cluff
By Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural mountains of southern Colorado before moving to Texas for her college education. After seven years in business consulting, she learned about sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate role to pursue a life focused on the outdoors. She now works as a contributor, hardware tester and writer for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based in Austin, TX where she settles in with her climbing gear and blue one-ear heel, George Michael.

Themes: Winter, Skiing

Keywords: Solomon, Climate change, film, ski, video

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