A strong contingent of Mount Washington freestyle skiers is heading to the Canadian Junior Nationals, March 30 to April 4 at Silver Star.
Athletes 13-19 years will be competing in slopestyle, moguls, big air and aerials. “These are the next generation Olympians trying to gain spots in the future on Provincial and National teams,” an event spokesperson noted.
Competing in big air are Todd Heard, Dillan Glennie and Sarah Rocque. This event encourages athletes in all three Olympic freestyle disciplines to develop their acrobatic tricks and air sense.
This is a new-school aerial event with athletes going off a 45-foot jump performing single and double tricks. The athletes are scored points for amplitude, originality and quality of tricks.
Mount Washington moguls competitors include Heard and Mei Pond. Single moguls (Olympic discipline) features speed, turns and air.
“All skiers have had to negotiate bumps, or moguls, at some point and know how challenging they can be,” the spokesperson said.
“The incredible skill, athleticism and courage of the world’s top mogul skiers makes it look easy, as they race straight down the fall line at lightning speeds. The top skiers are covering as many as four moguls per second.”
In dual moguls (world championship discipline) skiers race head-to head in knockout rounds.
“The added adrenaline of racing side-by-side means skiers often push themselves beyond their limits, resulting in either spectacular crashes or some of the most awesome bump skiing you will ever see,” the spokesperson added.
Heard and Glennie are also scheduled to compete in slopestyle. This event sees athletes make their way down, through and over a course comprised of a variety of features including rails, jumps and other terrain park features — scoring points for amplitude, originality and quality of tricks.
The discipline has its roots in action sports like skateboarding and BMX biking and has very successfully crossed over into the snow sports worlds of skiing and snowboard.
“Slopestyle is one of the most accessible snow sports, as virtually every ski resort has a terrain park where aspiring athletes can learn to jump, slide and jib,” the spokesperson noted.
Training starts March 30 and runs the duration of the event. Slopestyle goes April 1, big air April 2, single moguls April 3 and dual moguls April 4.