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Jasper ski team excels in Banff

Families with the Jasper Ski Team headed down the Icefields Parkway to take part in the first Nancy Greene race of the season, Jan. 13.

Karleigh Vassallo put it all on the line during a grand slalom race at Mt. Norquay in Banff, Jan. 21. Submitted photo.

Karleigh Vassallo put it all on the line during a grand slalom race at Mt. Norquay in Banff, Jan. 21. Submitted photo.

The U8 and U10 athletes arrived at Norquay on Friday to prepare for the race. The Jasper coaches rallied the team onto the snow for an afternoon of gate training and familiarizing the athletes with the mountain. The all-important washroom escape routes were designated and the excitement of bullet-proof man-made snow was experienced. Confusion and laughter came in abundance with the Spirit Chairlift that sported an out-of-sync moving carpet loading system and a mid and top-station unload to choose from. Three hours later, the team conquered the greatest challenge of the weekend: all 17 athletes got off the chairlift at the correct unload station at the same time. Much celebration from the coaches ensued. With high spirits, the team went back to the hotel to assume full control of the swimming pool for the evening.

Saturday consisted of a fast grand slalom course and a team dinner in the evening. Sunday was a technical Kinder Kombi event with awards on the deck in the afternoon. All the Jasper Ski Team athletes performed exceptionally well on both days.

Emilie Oxley, Raphael Fortin, Myles Misskey, Carter Schmidt and Corbin Gulevich all received top 10 finishes.

Parker Vien and Myles Misskey competed in their first ever ski race.

Lea Fortin, Austin Schmidt, Lily Mastrianni and Sienna Gulevich all recorded faster runs with every run of the weekend (and for Lea – fuzzier and fuzzier as she lost her contact lenses on the second day).

Felix-Olivier Lahaie and Lea Bisaillon showed first-rate skiing and first-rate team spirit.

Karleigh Vassallo and Jordyn Oxley raced with such pizzazz that the older athletes in their age group were shaking in their ski boots as the girls were hot on their heels. Oliver Noble and George Stolfa skied with flair and narrowly missed out on a top 10 finish. Noah Volante pulled off the recovery off the weekend with a one-ski 360-degree spin around a gate—who said ski ballet was a thing of the past?

Tor Begg
Special to the Fitzhugh

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