The strength of the city’s cross country ski community will be on display at the upcoming B.C. Winter Games.
Three Black Jack Ski Club athletes will be heading to Mission for the Games later this month to compete in cross country skiing—part of an eight-member Kootenay contingent.
Remi Drolet, Michaela McLean and Bronwyn Moore will be competing in cross country skiing. Held every two years, there are usually several skiers from Black Jack heading to the Games, but this trio is strong and should bring home some medals, said Black Jack Club member Fred Bushell.
Drolet has been undefeated this season and represents an excellent chance to medal at the Games, he said.
“Even with the lack of snow Nordic skiing has been excellent this year. The kids are all having good races. In particular, Remi Drolet has won just about every race he has been in this season,” added Black Jack club member Ann Quarterman.
McLean has also had great success this season, Bushell explained, earning medals in several provincial competitions. And Moore has been training hard and competing and is looking forward to personal bests at the Games.
All the team members must be born in the year 1999 or 2000. All the skiers had to earn their spot at the Games in a trial race held in late December at the Black Jack venue, said Bushell.
Although the host city for this year’s Games is Mission (beginning Feb. 20), cross country skiers will be competing at the Whistler Olympic venue in the Callaghan Valley.
The races at the Games will consist of an individual classic distance race, free technique sprints and a relay.
“All the Black Jack skiers have had a busy season training and racing throughout the province,” said Bushell. “For the skiers going to the Games, this will be a highlight of their season. The B.C. Winter Games are a tremendous opportunity for young developing athletes to participate in a multi sport games.”
“The whole event is catered to their age group, which is different than at a regular cross country race,” said Quarterman. “Also they get to meet kids from all over province in all sorts of other sports.”
The opening and closing ceremonies along with the opportunity to mingle and observer other athletes and sports give the Games a very special atmosphere, Bushell noted.
The Black Jack skiers will join Kaysa Panke, Samantha Gaul, Orion Humpherys, Gavin Patterson, Matthias Hoffmann, and Logan Merringer of the Red Mountain Racers in the Games, as well as Team Kootenay alpine ski assistant coach Samantha French and biathlon head coach Holly Heximer from Rossland.