Alpine Ski Club Olympic Prospects
The 2010 Winter Olympic Games aren’t just a dream for the Comox Valley Spirit of B.C. Community Committee. There are racers with the Mount Washington Ski Club whose dreams are tinted gold, silver and bronze, too.
Allison Forsyth is perhaps the Club’s most famous Olympic racer, but there are other names that could one day be household names, says head coach John Trimmer. “Mathieu Leduc is probably one of our best. He skis all events,” said Trimmer.
Leduc is training with the Provincial Ski Team, which is a steppingstone for the National Team. “We’re hoping he’s not coming back with us this season, that he stays with the Provincial Team,” Trimmer said. Leduc went to Chile in the summer and also trained at Farnham Glacier near Invermere, where all training runs are accessed by snow cat (it’s a favourite location for the National Team). “Mathieu’s a great all-around racer and the potential for the future is really good with him.” Leduc skis the slalom, giant slalom, super G, super giant slalom and downhill events.
While Leduc was concentrating on Canada’s National Team, Trimmer was thinking globally earlier in the fall. He took a team of eight athletes to Salzburg, Austria for some training and culture. Burke Grisold, Todd Adams, Sam Wright, Kelsey Francisty, Chelsea Adam, Amanda Bertig, Alexandra Hastings and Zara Mackey all spent two weeks training at Kitzstein Horn Glacier.
“It’s an awesome experience; it’s a mix of culture and skiing,” Trimmer said. This was the second annual trip to Austria for the Mount Washington Ski Club. The team members stayed at the Austrian Ski Academy at 2,600 metres, mingling with some of the best young racers from around the world.
“They’re all quite good and they’re all quite keen,” Trimmer said of the skiers. “That’s what it takes at a younger age is a desire to improve and take those events in. We hope to see (the athletes) in many national events this year.” The ski club will host a Coast National Slalom and Giant Slalom event Jan. 12-13, 2008. The zone event will see clubs from Whistler, Seymour, Cypress and Grouse come to Mount Washington.
Trimmer said his club has some athletes at the K2 and J1 levels that could qualify for national events this year. There are 25 currently competing in the elite levels, and 50-75 skiers in the Nancy Greene program. “It’s not just about the competitive levels,” he said. “All our levels take time to teach the skills – it’s a sport (athletes) can enjoy for a lifetime.”
For more information on any of these programs, please call Program Director John Trimmer at 250-897-6058 or go online to www.mountwashington.bcalpine.com.