BC Team's Toria Whitney Talks About First Experience on Europa Cup Circuit - BC Alpine Ski Association

BC Ski Team athlete Toria Whitney in Caspoggio, Italy while training with the national women's development team, January 2009.Back home after about a month on the road with the national development women’s team, Toria Whitney shares her experiences and provides insight into the high level of competition in Europe!

“The past month with the National Devo team was great. I was in Collingwood for a week with them for the Nor Ams, and then off to Europe for 3 weeks. In Collingwood the whole woman’s Devo team was together, so that was nice to have everyone together, and then while I was in Europe, most of the time I was with Kelly McBroom and Georgia Simmerling who are also doing the mostly speed program. It was all a great experience and I learned a lot.

We raced in a SG the first day that I was there, pretty much right off the plane, in Spital, AUT. That was a little crazy because we were all jet lagged and racing right away. It was a pretty flat and easy course so if you weren’t really on your game then it was easy to lose some time. I was a little loopy, which isn’t the way to ski a flat and somewhat straight course! But I ended up ahead of Georgia and Kelly, and right behind MP (Marie-Piere Prefontaine) who came out to the SG with us.

After a couple days of training GS and SG at Kirchberg, AUT, we went to a Europa Cup speed series in Caspoggio, ITA. It was great to be racing in my first Europa Cup and see how the competition in Europe is much different than at home. The field is so much deeper, so if you make any little mistake then you are pretty far out; make a big mistake and there is not a chance. In order to have good results there, you really have to give it all you’ve got, and have clean runs. I just couldn’t seem put together a clean solid run without mistakes. We raced SG the first day, and my line was so far out there that I am sure I was at times closer to the outside gates. Next we skied DH and I was having similar issues with my line. Every day I brought it in a little tighter, and stepped up the skiing, but I kept making mistakes. On the first race day I had good sections, and then bad ones. The second race day was much better and a good run until the bottom where I was carrying more speed than the other days, got pushed too low across some bumps, and was out of the course. Georgia and Kelly had great results in the DH’s and because of that got the opportunity to race in the World Cup in Cortina. In the end most of the days were cancelled, but it was great for them to be there, and Georgia raced in the one DH race.

In between races when we weren’t away, we trained in Kirchberg, AUT where the National Team has a "home" base. They have an awesome set up there with an entire hotel to themselves, and for the next few winters as well. Also the training on the hill is fantastic, with lots of terrain and an excellent training run. I was supposed to do a couple more races, 2 SC races in Ausservillgraten, AUT near the end of the time that I was over there. I ended up going there as the only Canadian racing, but even though I was the only one, I still had a coach, tech, and physio with me! But the races were canceled due to weather and we went back to Kirchberg early. Instead I foreran a guys GS FIS race in Kirchberg before coming home.

I didn’t have any great results while I was over there, but I learned lots for next time and had a great experience. Up next I’ve got the Nakiska tech Nor-Ams, and then down to Mammoth Mt. for the speed Nor-Ams down there. I’m looking forward to the upcoming races!

Thanks a bunch to BC Alpine for this opportunity and sending me to Europe with the National team. It was a great opportunity and I had an awesome time and experience. It was good to get in my first races in Europe and some time with the National team. Thanks for the support!”

Toria Whitney (BC Ski Team, Whistler Mountain Ski Club)