UPDATED — AFC alumni named to national mogul team
The suspense finally ended for Jordan Kober.
The Apex Freestyle Club alumni has reached his childhood dream of being on the Canadian National Freestyle Ski team's mogul squad. The CFSA made the official announcement on July 16.
"Ever since I was little, that was what I was working towards," said Kober on the phone from Whistler where he is training. "Definitely a big stepping stone."
Kober, who competed on the Canadian Sport Institute team with brother Josh, said it was pretty cool to be named to the development group. What's also cool for Jordan is being closer to the skiers he looks up to. On one of the dry land training days, he had a moment while they played street hockey.
"I'm just sitting on the bench and there are some of the best skiers in the world right beside me," said Jordan, who looks up to Mikael Kinsbury, a silver medal winner at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "That's a cool feeling."
In joining the squad, he adds another Kober to the team as his father Rob is the coach.
"That's a little different," said Jordan.
Rob said he is proud of his son, but added with the excitement comes stress.
"Inevitably he will feel some undue pressure having dad as the coach," said Rob. "Selecting the team this year was a long and frustrating process. It is typical at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle to have some changes in staff and structure, and this time around has been especially slow to sort out. Normally, the team would be named by mid-April, so to have to wait until July was difficult for me both as a coach and a dad. The upside for Jordan is that the delay allowed him to focus on school and his graduation this year."
Rob was removed from the decision making process to eliminate any conflict of interest. He was consulted on all the athletes ranked for the team but the final decisions were left to their high performance program director and the selection committee. There is a system that ranks Canadian mogul skiers based on their results from various levels of competition.
As excited as Rob is about Jordan joining the national ranks, he will not actually work with him very much.
"My focus as head coach is more on the planning and logistics of the team and on our top World Cup skiers," said Rob, who has a close relationship with his son. "I have always tried to be conscious of not putting any pressure on any of my kids to ski."
Rob said Jordan had a typical season for a talented 17 to 18 year old growing into his body.
"He showed some real technical gains, but did not necessarily show this consistently in competition," he added. "I don’t think he really put together any competition runs last season that reflect his current ability. It was a good training/learning season, but not a great competition season. The one exception to this was Jordan winning at the Junior National Championships."
AFC alumni Connor Spence was also named to the national mogul squad, but declined his spot. Rob said he's exceptionally talented and added he hoped the delay in naming the team didn't sway his decision.
"I know he is also very strong academically and he plans on pursuing his post-secondary education," said Kober, adding he was very disappointed that Spence declined.
Also on the national team are Matt Margetts in group B of men's half pipe, Andi Naude of Penticton in B group for women's moguls.
AFC also has Josh Kober, Kyle Parker, Mackenzie Schwinghamer, Madison Parker and Noah Spence advancing to the B.C. mogul team.