Matthew Holler - 2003 Canadian Juvenile Champion - Giant Slalom
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K2 Nationals 2003 - GS Course
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Representing Team BC in today's Giant Slalom race, 14 year-old Holler had an exceptionally fast second run improving on his third place first run and taking the gold medal. Starting in the 28th position on the second run, Holler stopped the clock at one minute 25.59 seconds, just under half a second ahead of Philippe Crete-Belzile of Team Quebec and nearly 2.5 seconds ahead of Gabriel Blouin, also of Quebec.

“I'm excited beyond belief.” said Holler, who also won the provincial championships in Fernie, BC just 2 weeks ago. “I was intimidated by some of the other racers at first, but all the coaches helped me prepare mentally by giving me minute-by-minute updates on the course condition. Some of the other guys have been beating me for years and are good friends of mine. To help me relax and stay focused, I kept the song 'Highway to Hell' by AC/DC in my mind the whole way down the course. It really worked for me.”

When asked what set Holler apart from the other competitors, Rob Boyd, Canadian ski racing legend and one of the Team BC coaches, told us it was a combination of technique and mental strength that made the difference. “He was strong, solid and skied smart,” said Boyd, himself a winner of three World Cups in a 12-year career with the Canada Alpine Ski Team.

Pierre-Luc Dumoulin, Team BC coach and K2 Whistler Mountain Ski Club coach, is credited with advising Holler in the start hut to “be prepared for some ruts on the course, pick a good line and CHARGE IT!” He did!!

Holler's team-mate, Conrad Pridy, also of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, finished just off the podium in fourth position with a time of 1:28.52 seconds. Luke Nelson of Fernie, BC was 13th.

Thirteen year-old Elli Terweil, of Kamloops and the Sun Peaks Alpine Club, was the fastest female from BC today in fifth place behind four 14 year-old skiers from Quebec.

Congratulations to Matt and his family…we understand his dad is in Collingwood and is able to share in the celebration of gold!

Hats off to the Team BC coaching staff – Floyd Gniowatta (Apex), Jim Parsons (Grouse/Tyee), Pierre-Luc Dumoulin (Whistler) and Rob Boyd (Whistler).