You Are Here: Home » Community » Jasper freestyle skier invited to join provincial squad

Jasper freestyle skier invited to join provincial squad

Local freestyle skier Gage Leblanc shows off the skills that lead to him being chosen to join Freestyle Alberta’s mogul team. | Supplied photo

Jason Stockfish | advertising@fitzhugh.ca

With his eye on the prize and opportunity presenting itself, local freestyle skier Gage Leblanc has accepted a spot on the Alberta High Performance Mogul Team.

Skiing since he was three years old and freestyle mogul skiing by the age of 10, the 16-year-old has been training for this moment for the past 13 years.

“I was recognized as one of the top up and coming mogul skiers in Alberta (and) I was invited…to be an athlete on the (provincial team),” Leblanc said.

“I am super excited, as it is a step in the right direction toward my goal of becoming an Olympic gold medalist.” 

However, there’s a financial hurdle the young athlete must overcome before he can begin the next step in his journey.

The cost of the program is about $35,000 per year, and Leblanc doesn’t have that kind of funding at his fingertips.

“Coming from a middle-class, working-class family, it’s hard to come up with $35,000 just as pocket money,” he said.

LeBlanc needs $15,000 by June 21 before he heads to Whistler for the team’s first ski camp.

The money required will be used for coaching fees, traveling, lodging, fuel, insurance and other essentials as the young skier travels across Canada and North America representing Jasper and Alberta.

“So, I am looking for some support around the Jasper community and the business community, and I’ve got some pretty good responses so far.”

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction but I still need some more support.”

The national squad is where Leblanc’s sights will be set next but before an athlete is recognized by Team Canada and chosen to move up to the Olympics, they must be tops in their sport for multiple years, Leblanc explained.

“To excel as a freestyle skier, I have to constantly push my limits, improve my technique and work harder every training session,” Leblanc said. 

“I will be committing to approximately 220 days of training and competition across North America over the next year.” 

In addition to talent, skill, determination, and support from family and friends, Leblanc said he has benefitted from exceptional coaching over the years.

Jasper will be well represented at the provincial level, as Leblanc’s coach on the Jasper Freestyle team, Chris Peel, will also be his coach on the Alberta freestyle team, as Freestyle Alberta recently announced Peel had been hired to be the new head coach of the mogul team.

As Leblanc works toward his dream of one day becoming an Olympian, he explained the opportunity before him was all made possible by support from family, teachers, coaches and the goodness of the community.

“I’ve been very blessed and honoured to grow up in Jasper and (the opportunity) to represent that community is pretty huge to me,”

To help Leblanc raise the funds needed to pursue his ambitious dream, individuals and businesses can make donations to his “Make a Champ” campaign on social media.

It’s time. Support your local media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Fitzhugh is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Fitzhugh has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time.

Click on https://support.fitzhugh.ca for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.

© Jasper's Independent Newspaper - Powered by Aberdeen Publishing                                                                                           Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Scroll to top