Sun Peaks Resort hosted the Canada Cup from Jan. 12 to 15, with freestyle skiers and snowboarders competing in slopestyle and big air events. Sun Peaks Freestyle Club (SPFC) walked away with a gold medal after Gabi Dinn won ladies slopestyle. The Canada Cup is a circuit national competition, hosted throughout Canada.
SPFC’s high performance head coach Chris Mavin said the 15 year old’s results are impressive, and Gabi has only been competing in freestyle skiing for a year.
“I think it’s very difficult at that age to see your own potential sometimes. I think [in this Canada Cup] we saw how talented she is,” Mavin said.
Before the competition, her coach said Dinn wasn’t planning on going to the next Canada Cup event in Ontario. With such impressive results, Dinn decided she’d like to compete again this weekend at Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, Ont.
The Canada Cup doesn’t have age categories, meaning athletes from 12 to 20 compete against each other, according to SPFC president Brennan Thompson.
Thompson said because of the age ranges, “even to make it into the final round … that’s a huge success.”
The other members of the team “had a bit of a rough go this weekend for various different reasons. So we didn’t quite get the results we were hoping for but we’re going [to Ontario] and doing it all again this week,” according to Mavin.
The Canada Cup competitors collect points, allowing them to qualify for the NorAm (North America) event, which is a level below the World Cup.
There is a NorAm event in Calgary at the end of January and Mavin said that if Gabby does well in Ontario, she’ll qualify for the NorAm slopestyle event.
The next freestyle event in Sun Peaks is the provincial level Timber Tour, which runs Jan. 19 to Jan. 22.
The weekend will see two competitions, split by age. Athletes from six to 13 compete in a “super youth” division and the Timber Tour event includes athletes from age 12 to 18. The overlap in age categories allows 12 to 14-year-old competitors to decide what category to compete in, Thompson said.
The Timber Tour competition has events for big air, slopestyle and moguls.
Thompson said the four-day school week for youth in Sun Peaks provides a unique opportunity for young athletes to train for three days over weekends.
Thompson and Mavin thanked the community, local businesses and groups for supporting SPFC, as well as Sun Peaks Resort.
“We’re very fortunate to have so much support from the community,” said Thompson.