Local riders hit the slopes at Klondike Ski/Boarder cross

Mt. Washington was hopping as snow conditions neared perfection.

Three members of the VI Riders take off from the gate.

Three members of the VI Riders take off from the gate.

British Columbians have been reliving the glory of  the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics as they celebrate the one year anniversary of the games.

On Mount Washington, competitors gave it their all at a recent ski and boarder cross event.

Sixty-one racers participated in the Klondike Ski/Boarder Cross Feb. 19,  shooting down a specially designed course packed with several elements including banks, waves, kickers and rollers.

The newest Olympic disciplines which débuted at the 2010 Vancouver games have competitors race through a course that truly tests a competitors all-around skills — and nerve.

Many of the competitors got their inspiration from Canada’s gold medal winners at the 2010 games. Snowboard cross star Maëlle Ricker and freestyle skier Ashleigh McIvor, both from British Columbia, make the sport look easy, but the race requires skill, strength, and physical endurance.

Taking the majority of the medals in the snowboard event at Mount Washington were members of the V.I Riders. 

Now in its fifth year, the freestyle oriented snowboard club has 25 members who are working hard to take their freestyle skills to the next level.

Head coach Jay Hogan said he was thrilled with how well his young riders performed and he credits their training for such a strong showing.

“Our goal is to create an environment where riders can progress and have fun doing it while also feeling safe,” he explaned.

“We want to give those who desire, an opportunity to challenge themselves to become better all round riders in our development program.”

He added they also want to create a doorway into the world of competitions that can lead to the national level.

Some Oceanside athletes who participated in event admitted to taking part just for the fun of it.

Most of the time Lori and Joel Chesley of Qualicum Bay have their hands full raising their two children, but on Saturday they decided to get back in the game.

Joel was pleased with his third place finish in his age category and Lori, who didn’t make it to the podium, said she was happy just to make it down the course.

“It’s my first race in 10 years. 

“I just wanted to have fun,” she admitted.

Lori’s younger sister Jodi Wright made it a family affair and managed a second place finish in the skier cross for her age group.

Leah Knutson Special Events Coordinator at Mount Washington said the event was a huge success and spectators can look forward to another great event this weekend at the annual Sprite Big Air Competition.


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