Greater Trail ski-cross racer Sage Stefani was named to Team Canada and will compete at the Youth Olympic Winter Games (YOG) in Lausanne, Switzerland next month.
The 17-year-old Rossland native joins Black Jack cross-country skier Jasmine Drolet, who qualified for Team Canada’s YOG cross-country team earlier this month.
Alpine Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that eight athletes and four coaches were nominated to represent Team Canada in alpine skiing and ski cross at the YOG, Jan. 9 – 22.
Ski cross athletes nominated to represent Canada include Stefani, Marie-Pier Brunet (Bromont, QC), Charlie Lang (Calgary, AB) and Jack Morrow (Whistler, BC). The team will be coached by Kya Fairley (Nakiska Alpine Ski Association) and Adam Bourns (Evolve Ski Cross Club).
The alpine skiers are Sarah Brown (Ottawa), Alice Marchessault (Ste-Anne-des-Lacs) Mack Wood (Toronto) and Louis Latulippe (Quebec City). The alpine team will be coached by Ève Routhier (Ski Québec Alpin) and Doug Williams (Green Mountain Valley School).
The athletes are excited to compete at the international level and inspire another generation of skiers, as they were by those who came before them.
Marchessault, who has been skiing since she was two years old, said her first ski trip to Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics was a turning point for her.
“I got to ski on my first big mountain and got inspired by the best skiers in the world!”
The team, made up of athletes from across Canada, has been training hard for the races in Lausanne and looking forward to getting to know each other better.
“The teammates and friendships are what make skiing even more enjoyable,” explained Lang who learned to ski at an indoor snowpark in England, where he lived until the age of five.
Alpine skiers qualified for the team based on their FIS points during the 2018-19 season.
Ski-cross athletes were chosen after a selection camp at Canyon Ski Resort east of Red Deer, Nov. 28–30. The camp was attended by 15 athletes from across the country. Camps like this are an important opportunity for athlete development and talent identification as well as a professional development opportunity for ski cross officials and coaches. Similar events in the past have identified many current team members.
The new Canyon Ski Resort track, which is a legacy of the 2018 Canada Winter Games, allows local clubs and the Canadian Ski Cross Team to train on a full length track.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games are an opportunity for Alpine Canada to develop the next generation of talent says Athletic Director of Canadian Ski Cross Dave Ellis.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a unique event that gives Alpine Canada a great opportunity to Talent ID future potential Olympic medalists and continue to grow the exciting sport of ski cross in Canada through development opportunity for coaches, officials and athletes.”
Past YOG athletes who are now on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and the Canadian Ski Cross team are Ali Nullmeyer, Amelia Smart, India Sherret, Mikaela Tommy, Roni Remme, Reece Howden and Zoe Chore.
Alpine Skiing events will take place Jan. 10 – 15 in Diablerets and Ski Cross will take place on Jan. 19 and 21 in Villars.