The article was contributed by the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club.
The first BC Cup of the season took place in Whistler this past weekend, and 19 Revelstoke skiers made the trek over several mountain passes to compete under the iconic rings from the 2010 Olympics. Revelstoke athletes ranged from 12 to 51 years-old, emblematic of the “sport for life” concept that cross-country skiing represents.
Saturday consisted of classic sprint races, which are much like a track and field event, with a qualifying round followed by heats that progress to a championship in the afternoon. The moist Whistler weather meant that our wax techs were hard at work applying sticky klister to ski bases to create the grip needed for the wet, slippery tracks.
On Sunday (Jan. 8), skiers raced using the skating technique, with distances ranging from 2.5–10 kilometres. The Whistler course was particularly tough — meant to challenge Olympic-level skiers with steep climbs and tight, fast, descents that didn’t allow for much recovery. Coaches yelled “work the downhills,” to squeeze out every second from the speedy, wet, snow. For some athletes, it was their first time competing at the Whistler Olympic park, and the excitement spurred several podium finishes and personal bests for the young skiers.
Saturday Classic Sprint Race
2005 Maeve MacLeod 1st
2006 Ruby Serrouya 2nd
2007 Lutza Berkenbosch 4th, Tobin Gill 5th
2008 Maya Royle 4th, Fiona Woodman 5th, Cedar Jacob 3rd, Kieran Macintosh 8th
2009 Livia McMechan 8th, Ember Smith 9th
2010 Hamish Woodman 4th, Micayla Macintosh 7th
2011 Sela McMechan 2nd
Masters: AnneMarie Gill 4th, Robyn Thomas 5th, Zach Hill 3rd, Brendan MacIntosh 8th, Rob Serrouya 22nd
Sunday Skate Race
2003 Marlie Molinaro 1st
2005 Maeve MacLeod 1st, Nyssa Thomas 5th
2006 Ruby Serrouya 1st
2007 Lutza Berkenbosch 5th, Tobin Gill 7th
2008 Maya Royle 4th, Fiona Woodman 3rd, Cedar Jacob 3rd, Kieran Macintosh 13th
2009 Livia McMechan 10h, Ember Smith 9th
2010 Hamish Woodman 2nd
2011 Sela McMechan 3rd
Masters: Rob Serrouya 32nd
The key theme to a BC cup is to have fun, to promote participation, and prepare kids for skiing competitively as they get older. For athletes aged 16 to 20 years old, the event took on a slightly more serious tone because it was a qualifier for the Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island in February. Like the Olympics, Canada Games are a multi-sport event that happen every four years, with athletes from 20 winter sports representing British Columbia on the National stage.
Six female and male skiers from across the province are selected to represent Team BC. By coming first and second in their U18 categories, Maeve MacLeod (17) and Ruby Serrouya (16) automatically qualified for the Games, along with Marlie Molinaro who won the U20 category. Alexandra Luxmoore was also selected, meaning most of the female squad representing BC will come from Revelstoke!
Four Revelstoke Masters also raced over the weekend, and although they are too old to go to Canada Games, it’s clear that they imagined the glory of these events while skiing under the rings.
For Whistler, hosting 460 competitors served as a dry run for the World U20 and U23 ski championships that will be held in two-weeks at the Whistler Olympic Park. Four Revelstoke athletes will be traveling to Prince George next week, attempting to qualify for the world championships. Other upcoming events include the second BC Cup, which will be held in Revelstoke on Feb. 18 and 19.
All photos contributed by Maja Swannie Jacob