Thirteen athletes to represent Revelstoke at BC Winter Games

Will compete in alpine skiing, nordic skiing and judo

Thirteen Revelstoke athletes from three different sports will represent the city at the BC Winter Games. Competing in alpine skiing, nordic skiing and judo, the athletes will join a contingent of others to represent Zone 2 at the Games in Kamloops from Feb. 22 to 25.

BC Winter Games is a multisport competition where young developing athletes get a chance to showcase their talents. This year, 1,229 athletes will compete in 19 different sports. Their average age is 14 years old. For most, it will be their first BC Games competition.

Kamloops hosted the first BC Winter Games in 1978. This year is the 40th anniversary of the competition.

We talked to the Revelstoke athletes competing to learn more about them and their sports.

Nora Sidjak (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Nora Sidjak

12 years old

Alpine Skiing

1st BC Games

Nora Sidjak says skiing is kind of like a puzzle. It’s the challenge of putting together the pieces that keeps her coming back to the hill over and over again. She speaks softly, but with a firm determination that comes from being a young athlete with her eyes on the prize. When Sidjak isn’t up on the mountain, she rides horses. But Sidjak says that all she really does — even when she’s in the saddle or the classroom — is think about the next time she gets to skiing. She credits her dad with getting her up on the ski hill as a little tyke, and says she admires Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, because they are amazing and have all the technique and skill that come with being a professional athlete. According to one of the parents present during their training, Sidjak is “one hell of a skier.”

“There’s nothing like the thrill of skiing. Going fast — it’s exhilarating. I’ve done it all my life.”

Sam Larson (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Sam Larson

13 years old

Alpine Skiing

1st BC Games

Sam Larson says he would sleep with his skis if he could. It’s all he really thinks about. Out of all the local U-14s, Larson is the only one who tunes his own skis. When he’s sitting in the classroom, he says he’s really just dreaming of days spent arcing turns up on the ski hill. And even when it’s not snowing — and he’s competing in competitive gymnastics or downhill mountain biking — he says he’s still thinking about the next powder day or race course he gets to smash gates on. Larson says it’s the precise control that comes from knowing how your edges work that keeps him coming back to the sport. He’s been skiing since he was just 19 months old.

“Just being smooth, almost weightless down the mountain keeps me coming back. I like going fast and skiing in control.”

Teigan Lenzi (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Teigan Lenzi

13 years old

Alpine Skiing

1st BC Games

Teigan Lenzi has a sort of stoic wisdom that rarely emanates from someone his age. He is determined, and says he’s going to come home from the BC Games a winner. Lenzi has been skiing since he was 18 months old, and is born and raised here in Revelstoke. He says he’s won a couple races in his short career, but nothing less than victory at his first BC games will satisfy the young athlete. Lenzi says his skis are his best friends because they keep him on the mountain and shredding powder when he’s not crushing gates at mach speed. He looks up to Erik Guay and Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who he called some of his role models. Lenzi would like to be a ski guide when he grows up.

“It’s just so much fun. You go fast. Hit jumps. Smash gates. It’s just the best. There’s a silence up there — it’s like slow motion.”

Sydney Musseau (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Sydney Musseau

13 years old

Alpine Skiing

1st BC Games

Sydney Musseau is a bonafide winner. Though she placed second in the seventh annual Smith Jr. Freeski Open at Whitewater Ski Resort last month, her freeride coach says she’s hungry to stand on top of the podium. Musseau says she’s going to do exactly that at the BC Games. She says music is her favourite subject in school. And underneath the Revelstoke Ski Club jacket Musseau sports proudly is a My Chemical Romance T-shirt. She credits her dad with getting her out on the mountain when she was just two or three years old, and though she says she doesn’t get to ski with her parents as much as she used to, she still looks forward to getting out on the mountain with her biggest fans whenever she can.

“Drop cliffs, not bombs.”

Reed Kelly (Photo submitted)

Reed Kelly

13 years old

Alpine Skiing

1st BC Games

Reed Kelly was skiing as soon as he could walk. He began in Hood River, Oregon and then joined the Revelstoke Ski Club. Kelly says he likes racing because “it’s exhilarating.” His favourite event to ski is the giant slalom. These will be his first BC Games. He’s looking forward to the experience and racing against a new crowd of skiers.

I will be happy with my races if: “I get top 10. That would be awesome.”

Clara Kenyon (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Clara Kenyon

11 years old

Judo

1st BC Games

Clara Kenyon is filled with humility and articulate beyond her years. She’s an early bloomer in her sport, she says. When asked how she got to be so good so young, she just chalks it up to hard work, determination, and the support of her coaches. Kenyon says when she’s not practicing Judo, she’s reading or playing soccer, and really enjoys art class at school. Though she has competed before, at just 11 years-old she says the BC games will be her first major competition, and that Judo is one the best ways she knows to push herself beyond what she thinks her limits are.

“It’s just a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people, and expand your experience.”

Layne Sessa (Photo by Jake Sherman)

Layne Sessa

13 years old

Judo

1st BC Games

Layne Sessa has been practicing Judo for five years and competing for three. He says he’s gotten stronger during that time thanks to the support and dedication of his parents and coach. When he’s not competing or practicing Judo he’s up on the ski hill, spending as much time as he can shredding fluffy powder. Sessa says math is his favourite subject in school.

“I’ve gotten stronger and learned a lot of new moves, but I’ve learned to keep my excitement to myself.”

Jaclyn Elliott (Photo by Marissa Tiel)

Jaclyn Elliott

14 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Jaclyn Elliott’s earliest memomory on skis is from a Lantern Ski at Mount Macpherson. The 14-year-old has come a long way from those days of slipping around on skis with her friends and family and is preparing to make her BC Games debut. Training now three or four days a week, Elliott will be looking to have three great races on the hilly course in Kamloops.

“I’m just hoping to stay in it [skiing] and still really wanting to be in throughout high school.”

Alexandra Luxmoore (Photo by Marissa Tiel)

Alexandra Luxmoore

13 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Alexandra Luxmoore is still a little bit embarrassed about her first-ever race. At the Midget Championships, she thought they were just practising, not racing down the trails. Now the 13-year-old skier is preparing for her first BC Games. She’s looking forward to the classic race and seeing friends from out of town.

“Trying to do well at Nationals.”

Emily Macleod (Photo by Marissa Tiel)

Emily Macleod

14 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Emily Macleod has worked her way up the skiing ranks. Starting as a bunny, she said she really enjoyed the sport. On Dec. 30, she took the next step in developping her racing skills, qualifying as a wildcard for the BC Games. She says she was really happy to be able to go to the Games. An well-rounded athlete, she is one of the rare Revelstoke racers to prefer the skate technique to class – no wax, no fuss. Macleod hopes to one day go to Europe for the junior development tour.

“I’m excited to meet people from other sports and outside my region.”

Cassie Wolgram (Photo by Marissa Tiel)

Cassie Wolgram

13 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Cassie Wolgram doesn’t know what to expect at BC Games, but she’s knows it’s going to be lots of fun. She only started skiing a few years ago after falling in love with the sport during a school program. Now, the 13-year-old is representing Revelstoke at the BC Games. She’s looking forward to the “rollercoaster” course that features a lot of climbing and fast descents.

“I really liked it because I was downhilling and I found that got boring… you can talk with your friends more.”

Francesco Morrone (Photo by Mike Thomas)

Francesco Morrone

13 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Francesco Morrone started skiing nine years ago with his mom. These days, the 13-year-old is a little faster than mom, preferring to train with his friends. He’s hoping to notch a few personal best races at the BC Games. Morrone is also hoping to have good technique and maybe even cross the line before a rival.

“I’m excited for it. It’s going to be fun.”

Elliot Wilson (Photo by Marissa Tiel)

Elliot Wilson

13 years old

Nordic Skiing

1st BC Games

Elliot Wilson will be entering the BC Games on a high, with two fresh silver-medal performances from the 2018 Teck BC Championships. Wilson has been skiing since he was two, but only began racing four years ago. He’s looking forward to the long distance classic race, a favourite event of his and is hoping to have fun at the races.

“I say to myself, try to do your best. A fall is not a big deal. Get up, keep going and just focus on one little bit at a time.”

– Photos by Jake Sherman, Mike Thomas and Marissa Tiel

BC Games

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