Earlier today the Canadian Olympic Committee announced the athletes selected to the Olympic Team for the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Canada is one of the most consistent countries in the sport of freestyle skiing, winning seven medals in Freestyle at the 2014 Sochi Games, including three double podiums.
Freestyle BC could not be more proud to see 5 BC Team alumni named to the Olympic Team. About 10 years ago each of these athletes showed up at their local freestyle club with the goal of having fun. Here is a small glimpse into their journey;
Andi Naude, Penticton, BC – Andi will be attending her first Olympic Games after having a break out season where she has been a top contender in every World Cup mogul event of 2017. She has medalled in multiple World Cups throughout the season and is one of the only athletes consistently performing the back full. Last year Andi earned bronze at the PyeongChang test event.
Andi was a long time member of the Apex Freestyle Ski Club before joining the BC Mogul Team. As a young athlete, Andi was talented but more known for her positive attitude, kindness, and exceptional manners. Andi took numerous Timber Tour wins and was consistently nominated for the Freestyle BC Spirit Award.
Simon D’Artois, Whistler, BC – As one of the world’s top halfpipe skiers, Simon already has an X-Games gold to his name. Before climbing the international ranks Simon was a member of the Whistler-Blackcomb Freestyle Club. Simon skied weekends with the club where he was coached by Marc McDonell, Mike Atkinson, and Chris Turpin.
Simon has a long history of Freestyle BC competition with strong showings at the Timber Tour event series before moving on to the BC Park & Pipe team where he was coached by Myles Ricketts. Simon approached training with a focus on fun and balance as he combined skiing, mountain biking, and hockey until graduating high school. Simon is a true testament to the value in not focusing on a sport or discipline too early in life.
Cassie Sharpe, Comox, BC – This will be the first Olympic Games for Cassie who is the current World Cup halfpipe overall standings leader. Before becoming a member of the BC Park & Pipe Team, Cassie was an athlete at the Mount Washington Freestyle Club. Cassie grew up skiing on weekends where she was coached in moguls, big air, and slopestyle by Stu Robinson. Cassie frequented the Timber Tour events and was known for being tough and hardworking. Mount Washington operates a small freestyle club that has produced several amazing athletes with a large amount of dedication to the sport.
Yuki Tsubota, Whistler, BC – Yuki will be attending her second Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Yuki was a long time member of Whistler Freestyle Club before making the jump to the BC Mogul Team. Yuki has always been an extremely well-rounded athlete, competing in moguls, slopestyle, and halfpipe. After a season on the BC Mogul Team, Yuki made the leap to the BC Park & Pipe Team where she was coached by Mike Shaw. From there, her career took off as she soon made the National Team and went on to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Yuki’s commitment to all disciplines has allowed her to excel in slopestyle events when conditions were less than ideal.
Teal Harle, Campbell River, BC – Teal threw down at the final World Cup Slopestyle event prior to the qualifying deadline and took home the gold medal. Teal’s performance under pressure at the Wolrd Cup gave him a last-minute qualifier spot for the Olympic Games. Teal was a member of the Mount Washington Freestyle Club before moving to the BC Park & Pipe Team where he was coached by Jeremy Cooper.
Freestyle BC is incredibly proud of our BC athletes who have been named to the Canadian Olympic Team. All 5 athletes are exceptionally talented, but what helped them reach their Olympic dreams was the hard work and consistency they put in every day. Becoming an Olympic athlete is a marathon, not a sprint. These athletes focused on taking the right steps each day. This group of athletes are great ambassadors to their local Freestyle Club and the sport development system in the province of BC. Each of these athletes has been supported by our large network of coaches, officials, judges and volunteers. Thank you for doing your part to create events and opportunities for our BC athletes to thrive and develop into amazing athletes and people.
Do you want to follow in the footsteps of these BC athletes? You can get access to the same coaching and programs that led them to the Olympic Games. Getting your start in the sport is easy, just reach out to your local freestyle club today, or join Freestyle BC at the next Timber Tour event, February 1-4, in Whistler where you can see future Olympians in action!