The 10 best athletes in British Columbia will head to New Brunswick in February as they were selected to the 2003 Canada Winter Games Team Tuesday in Vancouver.

A total of six FIS races were held in Lake Louise, AB and Panorama, BC in December to help determine qualifying athletes for the Canada Winter Games. Athletes were selected based upon their Provincial ranking using the International Ski Federation (FIS) points system released Friday January 3, 2003.

After finishing with the most medals in the Alpine events at the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland (three gold, one silver and two bronze) with 11 top-10 finishes in three races, Team BC is again aiming for the top of the podium this time in Bathurst-Campbellton in March 2003.

Watch for BC Ski Team members Christina Lustenberger (Invermere) and Danielle Poleschuk (Fernie) on the women's side and Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver) and Robbie Dixon (North Vancouver) on the men's side, to reach the podium in New Brunswick.

The newly selected team, consisting of six athletes from the BC Ski Team and four athletes from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, will travel to Bathurst-Campbellton, NB February 28 in preparation for the alpine events. Alpine Skiing is a week two sport with training beginning March 1. Competition starts March 3 and concludes March 6 with the official close of the 2003 Games.

“We have selected an elite group of ski racers in BC with the goal of winning the Alpine events at the Games,” said Team Manager and Program Director for BC Alpine, Gordie Bowles. “This is a young group of athletes, but nearly two-thirds compete on our provincial ski team and are experienced elite competitors,” said Bowles. “We plan to bring the provincial title back to BC.”

The Canada Winter Games, February 22