Skies Clear as BC Team Girls Conclude Two Challenging Weeks In Quebec - BC Alpine Ski Association

"The girls have had truly a ‘European experience’ here in Quebec”, reported Head Coach Nancy O’Neill. “Some of the most difficult situations they could face in Europe at Europa Cup and World Cup races, they have experienced right here. Now they know that you can never simply expect things to go as planned. Weather changes, venues change, anything can happen. They all experienced having to race without training – even without a warm-up. This is such a valuable experience for them to have in their repertoire of skills. Learning to deal with adversity is a large part of becoming an elite athlete. I am so pleased with their attitudes, their focus and their perseverance."

After all the adventure and misadventure (bad weather mostly), they were uplifted by glorious weather and outstanding conditions at Mt. Tremblant on the final day of the trip. O’Neill insisted “in all the years of traveling to Tremblant I have never seen such a fantastic day. It was like a gift".

In the first run of the last GS race, Elli Terwiel and Kelsey Serwa turned in great performances with Elli sitting in 4th after the first and Kelsey putting things together for a fantastic 7th place run. When the race was over, Terwiel was 7th and Kelsey had moved 12th – both respectable results, though they both wanted the podium!

Alison Leighton was charging in the first run, but went out on the lower part of the course – she was racing very well! Unfortunately for Georgia Simmerling, who had just come off a brilliant performance in the slalom at Bromont, caught an edge at the very top off the course first run and took a nasty spill.

"I am just relieved that Georgia is OK," confirmed O’Neill "Due to the ‘grippy’ nature of the snow, there were some pretty serious tumbles."

O’Neill went on to reveal; “The girls are charging harder – they have picked up the tempo in their skiing. They are really starting to race and that is what they need to do. BC is fortunate to have such a group of girls leading the pack at home – I hope that the younger girls in the clubs start using the Team girls to help them go faster! In Quebec, there are several club athletes who are putting pressure on a very strong Provincial team … it is good to see. It’s healthy for the sport and for dynamics within a province.”

Reflections from the athletes themselves:

Alison Leighton (Whistler) Women's BC Ski TeamAli Leighton: "I’ve learned that you just never know what to expect so in this game you need to be prepared for anything. That is how you succeed at the next level. If you can simply take the good things from one day into the next – you can maintain a strong, positive frame of mind."

Elli Terwiel (Sun Peaks) Women's BC Development TeamElli Terwiel: "Probably the most important fact I have discovered on this trip is that you have to race both runs. I have had terrific success in my first run performances here and now I will focus on making sure I can put the same intensity and "charge" into the second run."

Kelsey Serwa (Big White) Women's BC Development TeamKelsey Serwa: "For sure you can turn around a whole season with one race – even one run. You just need to be patient and keep it simple and positive."

Georgia Simmerling (Grouse/Tyee) Women's BC Development TeamGeorgia Simmerling: “I think that it is really important to be patient, sometimes things don’t happen as quickly as you would like. You just really just need to keep on your own game, stay positive, and keep things simple. Its all good, but it is great when things come together!".