Beckie Scott laughs as she engages with the crowd of Terrace and Kitimat skiers at the Onion Lake ski trails Saturday.

Skiing Olympian visits Terrace-Kitimat ski trails

Beckie Scott came to the area with Spirit North, which launched in Kitsumkalum this year

Former Olympian Beckie Scott was surrounded by a crowd of more than 75 people during her visit to the Onion Lake cross-country ski trails near Terrace last weekend.

It was the perfect wrap up to the kids’ Jackrabbit season, with youth and parents peppering the three-time Olympian with questions about her skiing career and experiences.

The event was also enlivened with games, races, prizes, and a campfire and potluck as the season-end party for the Jackrabbits kids ski program.

Beckie Scott, three-time Canadian Olympian, was looped into the event because she was in the area visiting the Kitsumkalum and Moricetown First Nations with Spirit North, a non-profit that seeks to use cross-country skiing to empower Indigenous youth.

Scott has won numerous World Cup medals, competed in the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, earned gold in the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, and silver in Turin in 2006.

She had small town beginnings in Vermilion, Alberta, and was heavily involved in her local ski club when she was young, she said, sharing her story of how she gradually climbed through the ranks of competition.

She said after her presentation that it was great to be in the area.

“I’m thrilled to be in Terrace. For me, having come from a small town and a small club… I love getting back to the grassroots of the sport in Canada.”

“Community was always such a big part of my experience as a skier growing up,” she said. “Every time I come to a community and just see the parents and the families, it’s just so inspiring,” she said. “I love it.”

Asked what her message is, Scott says it flows out of her story.

“I came from a remote community, I wasn’t identified as a kid with a lot of talent necessarily when I was young,” she said. “I think my message is if you really work hard, and are prepared to overcome obstacles, anything is possible.”

Scott was in Hazelton at the Gitanmaax Hall the day prior, March 9, acting in her role as Chief Executive Officer of Spirit North.

The program started in Alberta, previously known as Ski Fit North, with the aim of empowering Indigenous youth through sport.

It just expanded into B.C. this year, launching in Kitsumkalum, Moricetown, and Penticton with federal government funding through Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada.

Spirit North partners with schools, providing free skis and gear to the school as well as a year of play-based ski programming for students.

Among the schools who applied in B.C., the Na Aksa Gila Kyew Learning Centre in Kitsumkalum had letters of support from the principal and band, and that’s why they were chosen, said Spirit North spokesperson Laura Filipow. Because of limited area for skiing at the school, Spirit North partnered with the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club to use the Onion Lake trails for their programming, which has been bussing each class there once a week at different times.

“We’ve had so much support from the local ski club,” said Filipow. “The success of that program in Kitsumkalum this year is in large part due to the club being so willing and open to them skiing there, and to helping out and volunteering.”

The program wraps up in March/April, and future programs will depend on funding.

 

Former three-time Olympian Beckie Scott signs a ski for Gianna Vandenberg while friend Irma Schoomer looks on. (Jackie Lieuwen photo)

Jackrabbits cross country skiers and their parents pepper questions at former Olympian Beckie Scott, on right.

Four-year-old Brooke chats with her dad Shawn Dando as he roasts hot dogs for them at the Onion Lake trails. (Jackie Lieuwen photo)

Jesse Hanna takes a shot at a makeshift target in a softgun biathlon at the recent Jackrabbits season finale. (Jackie Lieuwen photo)

Wade Stewart races for the finish in Saturday’s softgun biathlon. (Jackie Lieuwen photo)

Just Posted

Terrace users on Facebook post warnings about vehicle break-ins

RCMP say it’s important to always lock your doors

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Supportive housing project delayed until end of winter

Rainy conditions have stalled groundwork for the 52-unit development on Olson Avenue

Tyler Dozzi breaks national record, ‘running like a madman’

Terrace runner sets new time in Boston in his last U20 race

B.C’s salmon advisory council skips Terrace

Public engagement tour excludes all non-coastal communities

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Trapped B.C. crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

Most Read