The Strathcona Nordic Ski Club traveled to Whistler Olympic Park recently to compete in the first of the BC Cup racing series for 2022.
This marks the first race attended by the full team since March 2020. The athletes have had to work hard to stay motivated to train and hone their skills over the last 22 months with no races to attend. A total of 38 athletes ranging from U10 to Masters competed in the two days of racing.
The atmosphere for the first day of sprint races was one of excitement and celebration. With friends from all over the province reuniting to compete and enjoy the challenging courses that were used during the 2010 Olympics. Strathcona came out strong with a total of 12 athletes on the podium. Gold medals for Leila El Amiri (U10), Amelia Moore (U12), Ben Galik (U12), Gillian Galik (U14), Anna Chatterton (U18), Gavin Johnston (U20) and Brandon Willms (Senior). Second place finishes for Ella Moore (U10) and Hugo Henckel (U18). Bronze medals for Talia MacPhail-McGrady (U14), Owen Meldrum (U12) and Elliot Warder (U10).
The second day was warm with a light drizzle falling for the mass start distant races using free technique. The courses all started with a climb before some fast and steep descents. With lots of racers on the course, the athletes had to work hard to stay on their feet.
Once again, the athletes rose to the challenge and brought home 9 medals. Amelia Moore, of Comox, had another commanding performance taking gold for the U12 girls. Anna Chatterton and Gavin Johnston, both of Campbell River, also had repeat gold medal performances. In second place were Bjorn Bohac (U10), Leila El Amiri (U10), Gillian Galik (U14), Carly Ram (U16) and Brandon Willms (senior).
Gavin Chatterton rounded out the medal count, recovering from a crash mid-course to finish with a bronze medal.
“It was so great to see all the athletes actually get back to racing; they were all so excited and happy to be out there with their friends and teammates doing what they love to do,” remarked head coach Andrea Stapff. “I am incredibly proud of everyone’s performance.”