Brady Leman is one of the athletes who will be competing in the National Ski Cross Championships at Hudson Bay Mountain this week.

Local ski cross athletes get opportunity to see pros compete

With the National Ski Cross Championships already underway this week, many young local athletes are excited to see their heroes in action

With the National Ski Cross Championships already underway this week, many young local athletes are excited to see their heroes in action and will use the experience to perfect their own skills on the hill.

“I think it’s cool to know that our hill is suitable to have a national event,” said Chantel Wickson, a 15-year-old ski cross racer with the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club.

Wickson, along with fellow racers Kalum Huxtable and Kaillian Smale, are hoping to volunteer with the event, either working bibs or video-taping the finishes.

“I’m really excited. All my favourite athletes are going to be there,” said Huxtable, adding he hopes to catch national ski cross racers Brady Leman and Marielle Thompson while they compete on Hudson Bay Mountain.

Other athletes are also excited to see national-level competitions so close to home.

“I think it’s pretty awesome that they chose Smithers just to host it,” said Liam Huxtable, adding that he plans on attending as many races as he can.

“I want to see all the races,” said the 12-year-old.

According to Philippe Bernier, co-chair of the event, it’s valuable experience for up-and-coming ski cross athletes to see professionals compete.

“We’ve embraced ski cross as a club and now we have the ability to show our young athletes what it takes to be a world cup athlete,” said Bernier.

“It also gives us the opportunity to have our young kids meet world cup athletes and maybe aspire to be world cup athletes.”

In an effort to upgrade the current ski cross track on Hudson Bay Mountain, they have brought in a driver from Tabor Mountain in Prince George, where nationals were originally slated to take place.

“Essentially what we’ve done is we’ve extended it up the hill another 100 metres and we’ve made the banks bigger and wider,” said Bernier.

Wickson, Smale and Huxtable plan on being up on the mountain as much as they can and hope to pick up some tips and tricks from the pros on the new terrain.

“You actually get to see the techniques that your favourite skiers do in person, which is amazing,” said Smale, adding that she will pay close attention to racers’ starts and their air time.

Wickson hopes to pick up tactics on passing and knowing what is the proper angle to be on a bank.

“Then you can change the way you ski,” she said.

Huxtable wants to see how competitors use the terrain to their advantage.

“I want to see how they’re coming around the banks and watching their edges to start their turns because we need to work on that,” he said.

The championships end on Thursday, March 19 with ladies’ and men’s ski cross, followed by an awards ceremony at Bovill Square at 4 p.m. to give people in the community a chance to meet the athletes.

 

 

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The framework for reconciliation

Guest View from writers involved in the United Nations declaration.

Lego League provincial champions

Smithers’ Marley and Amelie are B.C. Lego League champions, and are fundraising to compete in Texas.

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read