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Top skiers meet at Apex for Can Am event
Apex Mountain is hosting the B.C. Alpine under-16 Can Am championship Thursday through Sunday.
The Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom competition has 80 top male and female skiers from Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. The event kicks off Thursday as the Osisko Speed Camp, which prepares skiers for competition, ends Wednesday.
Representing the Apex Ski Club are Reece Howden, Ella Pasin and Belle Grant. ASC coach Jorgen Anderson said he wants to see the trio push it and have a great series against a large contingent of athletes.
“It’s our home hill so it’s to their advantage,” said Anderson. “That always feels good to a skier.”
Anderson said while results are important, so is having fun.
“When you have fun and enjoy the process, you get results,” said Anderson.
The goal is for Howden to finish in the top 10 and for Grant and Pasin to be in the top 15. Howden has earned top-five results provincially all season.
So far Anderson’s skiers have enjoyed the speed camp, he said. Anderson said it helps them go through the process of ski racing, which he added is difficult as the athletes hit speeds of up to 120 kilometres an hour.
“They are up for the task,” he said. “Have fun with it and focus on good technique and the results will come.”
The Can Am event has proven to be a training ground for World Cup and Nor Am skiers. Morgan Pridy, who placed 10th in the Super G, 33rd in Giant Slalom and 20th in Super Combine during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, got his first speed skiing experience at Apex.
“It was awesome,” said Pridy, a Whistler Mountain Ski Club member who has come to Apex Mountain for 10 years. “I have always really liked Apex just as a place to go skiing. As I got older, they started running the speed series there and it kind of kickstarted my whole speed skiing career.”
Pridy said he recalls the course being a little intimidating at first.
“Maybe a little bit scary just because it was my first time really going fast,” he said. “Looking back on it now, the course has got all the elements that a real downhill should have. There is a place for a jump, a bit of a glide, also some good technical aspects.”
Pridy said he really appreciates what Apex is.
“A really important building block for speed skiing in Western Canada,” he said. “If we’re going to want to have, 10 years from now, athletes interested in downhill and Super G and have the skills to go fast, it starts at places like Apex.”
Asked about his Olympic experience, Pridy said it was “super cool.”
“To compete for Canada was amazing,” he said.