I have come out of this sport with so many amazing memories and experiences, and have learned so much along the way. I transitioned from a childhood playing in the powder on single track trails at Larch Hills, to the BC Ski Team, to the Alberta World Cup Academy and onto the National Ski Team. My love and passion for this sport has always been an integral part of my life. It has been a privilege to travel around Europe and race with the maple leaf on my suit!
I have been ski racing since I was a kid and I couldn't have done it without all the people that have been part of my journey. My family has always supported me: from my mom who was my first coach and biggest cheerleader, my dad and brother who always supported my dreams, grandparents who started the skiing tradition in my family, and extended family. Also a special mention to family friend and avid skier Phil Jones who recently passed away. My personal coaches in chronological order: my mom, Lizzie van Bergeyk, Doug Egan, Mike Cavaliere and Chris Jeffries in addition to all the other coaches that worked with me along the way. My boyfriend Chris, who got me through some tough times. Some of my amazing sponsors include Fischer, Swix, Salomon, Bliz Eyewear, Rancho Vignola, One Way, Stoneham, Usana, Auclair, Skookum Cycle and Ski and Lakeside Insurance. Other supporters include Jamie Coatsworth, Joan Sholinder, Winston and Cathie Pain, Anne and Don Champion, Marcia and Jim Beckner, Larch Hills Nordic Society and the community of Salmon Arm. A special mention to Peter Collins at Buff Canada who was my first big sponsor, a great employer and one of my biggest supporters throughout the ups and downs of my ski career.
I was fortunate to be part of some amazing teams with fantastic teammates. The Alberta World Cup Academy has been my Canmore family for the last 7 years. Cross Country Canada has supported my journey and gave me the opportunity to compete in almost 30 World Cup races. Larch Hills, Silver Star, Sovereign Lakes and the BC Ski Team were all instrumental as I transitioned from provincial to international events.
While letting go of a dream is never easy I have come to terms with it. The last few years of racing have been tough for me and although I've had glimpses of success, I am not consistent and there have been more tough races then good ones. I have struggled with my health and feel like I can no longer handle the level and quality of training necessary to achieve my athletic goals. I have truly learned so much from my time in the sport. The people, experiences and personal strength I have gained is invaluable and I feel like it has made me a better person.
I am excited to start the next chapter of my life. I will continue working on my Biology degree and hope to go to Medical School in the next few years. This should provide a new challenge and will keep my goal-oriented personality satisfied! I will stay involved in the ski community on a more local scale and in great organizations such as Fast and Female.
I've tried to capture a bit of my journey with some photos:
|My grandparents were a big part of my family's skiing and racing tradition. They are pictured here in front of a mural in Vernon featuring their younger selves|
|Thunder Bay Nationals with the Silver Star racing team|
|BCST camp with my buddies Clare and Sydney|
|Team BC at the 2007 Canada Games in Whitehorse|
|I was honoured to be the BC flag bearer at the closing ceremonies of the 2011 Canada Games|
|Jr National Team silliness on the Haig|
|My first International experience and first time in Europe at the World University Games in Torino|
|2008 World Jrs relay team in Malles, Italy|
|The inaugural AWCA team on the Haig|
|AWCA year 2|
|Lots of fun adventures with the team|
|Switching things up|
|Academy girls on the top of Centennial Pass in 2012|
|Training in Park City|
|Skiing in Seiser Alm, Italy, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.|
|On my way to 12th at the 2011 World U23 Champs|
|Racing in a World Cup sprint heat in Stockholm|
|Coach Chris and I in Latvia|
|The best support crew I could ask for!|
|Some of the Larch Hills racing team at Nationals, I'm excited to work with them this summer!|
|The 3 retirees after the last race at Nationals. Thanks to Heidi for the retirement leis and champagne! Photo: Russell Kennedy|
Thanks again to everyone who has helped and supported me during my ski career. On to new adventures!