Five young freestyle skiers from Terrace tackled invigorating new challenges when they hit the slopes of Sun Peaks Mountain for the BC Winter Games recently.
The provincial competition was in Kamloops and was a first for all but one of the freestyle skiers from the Shames Mountain Ski and Snowboard Club, which included Tom Yasinchuk, Sola Seib, Alexis Talstra, Seth Carter, and Xander McFee, as well as coach Chance Healey.
“Each one of them made a breakthrough,” Healey said. “All of them did something above and beyond that they’ve never done before.”
All except one of the Terrace youth have only skied in the north, with the largest jump they’ve taken being the 20-footer that was built at Shames in 2016-2017.
But the Big Air competitions at the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort had either a 25-foot jump or a 50-foot one.
Both Sola and Seth started on the 25-footer but went on to tackle the 50-foot table.
“Just that transition is a huge mental and physical accomplishment,” said Healey. “But doing that also gives more time in the air… [so Sola] started doing a double speed eagle on the big jumps.”
She didn’t place in the top ten in Big Air, but in her slopestyle, Sieb earned 10th place in the female U14 division.
“Seth did really well on his different grabs,” Healey said of Carter’s accomplishment, noting that previously he was tapping his grabs and hadn’t mastered a clear grab. “That was something he succeeded with through the games… the big grab he got clearly was a mute cross grab.”
For Yasinchuk, who’s been to Whistler for a number of summer ski camps and competed at BC Games last year, the tricks were the thrill.
He performed some clean 360s with mute grabs and tail grabs in competition, and in practice he was pushing the bounds with 540s, an attempted double grab, and even a backflip-twist known as a Rodeo 9, which he landed.
“He’s never done that on skis before,” said Healey.
Yasinchuk placed in the top ten in both his divisions, earning 8th in the male U17 Big Air and 9th in slopestyle.
The other two skiers, Alexis and Xander, made key strides in confidence, facing the 50-60 km/hr speeds and 25-foot jumps.
“Xander even ended up doing trying tricks for the first time,” said Healey.
“Every athlete did very well.”