Heming Sola caps off a big week for BC ski racing stars

Heming Sola caps off a big week for BC ski racing stars

Former BC Alpine skiers, now competing for Canada on the World Cup tour, put forward world-leading performances of late.

Take “Big Rig” Reece Howden, of the Apex Ski Club, scorched the ski cross race track in Idre Fjäll, Sweden, taking a win and second place over two days of racing. Howden now leads the World Cup ski cross overall standings with 481 points, with a sizable lead over Mattias Graf, of Austria (328 points).

At the same race, Marielle Thompson, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, raced to third place in the women’s race, moving her into third overall in the World Cup standings.

Cameron Alexander 6th at Kitzbuhel; Broderick Thompson 9th

Meanwhile over in Kitzhuhel, Austria, two Whistler Mountain Ski Club stars, scored top 10 finishes in the world’s most famous – and treacherous – World Cup downhill.

With snow falling on the 40,000 thousand fans in the grandstands at the base of the Hahnenkamm, Cameron Alexander started 27th and powered his way down the Streif course to finish sixth. In his 25th World Cup start, this is Alexander’s best result this season and his first top 10 since last season’s win in the downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. The day before Broderick Thompson made an impressive jump from start number 39 to finish ninth, his first top 10 since a third-place finish last season in the super-G in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

“Today felt like I skied well,” said a pleased Alexander. “I had a solid run yesterday but there were a few mistakes that I wanted to clean-up. Did my best today to do that and it turned out really well. Kitzbühel is an insane place, coming into the finish with thousands of fans cheering felt really good. I’m stoked to build on this confidence heading into the next races and into the World Championships.”

Teammate Brodie Seger and James (Jack) Crawford, both of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, also had strong performances at Kitzbuhel with top 30 restults to finish in the World Cup points. Kyle Alexander gained valuable experience in Kitzbuhel on the most difficult race course on the World Cup.

Meanwhile, over at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Stef Fleckenstein (Whistler Mountain Ski Club) inched closer to a World Cup top 30 finishing 32nd in the super-G.

Heming Sola goes “full throttle” in second run at World Juniors

On January 25th, current BC Ski Team racer Heming Sola (Apex Ski Club) had Canada’s best finish at the World Junior Championships after a blistering-fast second run of 48.80 moved him into 14th position from Bib 49.

“I figured if I wanted to have a good day I would have to go full throttle and that’s what I did,” Sola said after the race.

See the results from the men’s slalom HERE.

BC Alpine launches e-store in support of athletes & programs

BC Alpine launches e-store in support of athletes & programs

BC Alpine launched bcalpine.store, an e-commerce shopify website where users can directly support BC Alpine athletes and programs.

The initial product launch features toques, hoodies, various hats and t-shirts, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to BC Alpine and club programs. The product features the official tagline of BC Alpine “Conquer the Mountain” as well as the BC Ski Team message “Chasing Excellence”, in addition to a collection of BCST products.

“We’ve talked about this for a while now so it’s exciting that we have the store up and running,” said Anders Hestdalen, BC Alpine CEO. “The athletes did an incredible job at the photoshoot and I think they had some fun with it.”

BC Alpine will be adding inventory and new product lines to the store throughout the season.

BC Ski Team “eager to put all their hard work to the test”

BC Ski Team “eager to put all their hard work to the test”

The top skiers in the province are ready to roll and hungry for ski racing.

After a rigorous and productive pre-season, consisting of physical conditioning and on-snow training on two continents with a training group of 13 skiers, the BC Ski Team coaching staff are optimistic heading into the 2022-23 race season, which kicks off next week at Mt Norquay, Alberta.

Led by three returning skiers named to the BC Ski Team – Dylan Timm, Heming Sola and Tait Jordan – seven newcomers will continue to be part of the BC Training Group for the season. The skiers range from 16 to 20 years-of-age and represent six ski clubs from across the province.

“I’m anticipating this season for the BC Ski Team to be full of excitement,” said Johnny Crichton, BC Alpine VP, while travelling to Colorado with the men’s team. “We have a young and energetic women’s crew who are eager to put all their hard work to the test. Same on the men’s side … they are well prepared, excited and ready to race.”

Crichton mentioned the athletes have extra incentive and opportunity this season with BC hosting both the Canadian Senior National Championships in Kimberley and the Nor-Am Finals at Whistler, in March 2023. “Our teams are really looking forward to capitalizing on those opportunities,” Crichton said.

Women’s squad learning the ropes

According to Montana Molyneux, the BC Women’s Head Coach, the young women’s team have focussed on “developing strong habits positionally and pushing pace with themselves, and with each other.”

“Each athlete contributes so much to this new team, and we are continuing to build together,” she said. “It has been quite exciting to see strong female athletes wearing the BC Alpine patch and we are looking forward to a season of growth on and off the hill!”

The women’s teams had a specific focus on physical conditioning. “We chose to continue our fitness programming through September, which really paid off once we were on snow because it allowed the athletes to push a lot of high quality volume and foundational work,” Molyneux said.  

One of the highlights for the women’s team was a trip to Belgium, to an indoor ski facility well suited for hard snow (aka ice) slalom training, followed by a week of training in Saas Fee, Switzerland, for GS training. When the team returned to Canada they had a productive 14-day camp in Panorama. “We were able to have a progressive build on the super-G skis and took advantage of the variety of terrain for a solid slalom block,” Molyneux said.

Both the women’s and men’s team started out the pre-season together in May in Sun Peaks at the BC Alpine MEGA Camp, alongside all ski clubs in the province (the camp is scheduled again for May 2023).

The women’s team is currently at home for a short rest and school block and will be getting ready to race the Norquay series followed by Panorama FIS races in December. 

Men’s team ready to race 

Morgan Pridy, the returning Men’s Head Coach, said that it has been a productive but challenging pre-season, particularly for the newcomers. “They’ve been working hard and trying to absorb as much as they can,” Pridy said. “ The returning skiers have been progressing well and are really looking like this is a true continuation of last season.”

The men’s team had on-snow camps at El Colorado, Chile, in September, Wittenburg, Germany, in October, in addition to training closer to home at Sun Peaks (in May) and Panorama (November). The team also had physical training testing in Whistler and Kelowna during the prep phase.

“Whether they succeed or fail, they are doing it the right way,” Pridy said when addressing his expectations for the season. “Skiing to your big goals is a long process for both the rookies and the vets. Of course I’m always hoping that things click into place right away but the reality is, we are about to go through the ups and downs of a long competitive season. If they are committed to the details, committed to the work, and find ways to be resilient individually and as a team, then the potential is sky high.”

The men’s team are now at Copper Mountain, Colorado, preparing for the first Nor-Am speed races of the season (two downhill and two super-G), starting this week. For the Training Group skiers it will be their first-ever Nor-Am races. Both teams will reunite in Panorama for the Alberta Cup Christmas series before heading home for the Christmas break. 

BC Ski Team 2022-23

  • Dylan Timm (2002) Fernie Alpine Ski Team (Fernie)
  • Heming Sola (2003) Apex Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Summerland)
  • Tait Jordan (2002) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)

BC Training Group 2022-23

Women

  • Shayna Little (2005) Big White Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Kelowna)
  • Mila Plavsic (2004) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (Vancouver)
  • Erin Husken (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)
  • Alexa Brownlie (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Whistler)
  • Ella Kaufmann (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)

Men

  • Sascha Gilbert (2004) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Whistler)
  • Graeme Eder (2005) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (Coquitlam)
  • Dylan Stevens (2004) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (North Vancouver)
  • Oliver Young (2004) Vernon Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Coldstream)

Coaching Staff

  • Morgan Pridy, Men’s Head Coach
  • Montana Molyneux, Women’s Head Coach
  • Dustin Koepke, BCST Coach

Three-time Olympian Emily Brydon joins BC Alpine Board

Three-time Olympian Emily Brydon joins BC Alpine Board

VANCOUVER, BC (Friday Oct. 21, 2022) – Former World Cup medallist Emily Brydon, of Fernie, B.C., joins the BC Alpine Board of Directors, adding to the stability of the provincial ski association. The winner of 9 World Cup medals, the Fernie executive looks to “give back to the ski community”

Brydon, 42, a three-time Olympian (Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010) is also a 10-year executive with bp. In addition to her role with BP as Integration Lead for the global bp Pulse EV business , she is heavily invested in the ski community in BC. Brydon created the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation “in support of youth and empowering and enabling them to achieve their dreams and goals through sport, education and the arts”.

The program has raised over $1.5M  to date – with an endowment of $1.1m and with an impressive ~ $700,000 investment back into the community, positively impacting youth across a multitude of activities, including ski racing in the Elk Valley.

Brydon joins an experienced Board of Directors, with representation across the province. “I am keen to give back to the organization and community who have given me so much,” she said. 

Emily joined the BC Alpine Strategic Planning Committee over the past few months, joining a diverse group who have been tasked with producing a five-year Strategic Plan for the association.

“We’re keen to have more of Emily’s input into the direction of ski racing in the province, to get her insight and perspective will be exciting,” said Johnny Crichton, BC Alpine VP Athletics.

BC Alpine Board of Directors (2022-23)

  • Graham Cope, Chair
  • Gordie Bowles, Vice President, Finance
  • Emily Brydon, Vice President, Athletics
  • Mike Giannelli, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Murray Smith, Okanagan Zone Chair
  • Catherine Grant, Coast Zone Chair
  • Gord Reese, Kootenay Zone Chair
  • Phil Bernier, North Zone Chair

About BC Alpine Ski Association

VISION: To inspire skiers for life and develop world-class athletes.

MISSION: To lead and govern the sport of Alpine Ski Racing in BC, to provide leadership and structure for our clubs to deliver high quality, sustainable and affordable programming and to communicate the competitive, recreational and lifestyle benefits of ski racing to the community.

Athletes, Coaches & Volunteers Recognized at Summit in Sun Peaks

Athletes, Coaches & Volunteers Recognized at Summit in Sun Peaks

With the spectacular backdrop of the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre and the legendary ski coach rock band “The Batterheads” belting out some great tunes – such as Reno and I Fought the Law – BC Alpine presented 26 awards to deserving recipients (see full listing below) in the categories athlete bursaries and awards for coaches, volunteers, officials, resorts, events and clubs.

The BC Alpine Summit Meetings – the first in-person provincial meetings in three years – were a smashing success, with representation from all zones, clubs and all levels of ski racing in B.C. The four-day meetings included presentations from BC Alpine staff and coaches, Allison Forsyth on the topic of Safe Sport, a Risk Management presentation by Steve Harris of Alpine Canada, a new Fitness Combine (physical testing & benchmarking) program presented by Jenni Stilow, also of Alpine Canada, and many others. All presentations can be found here.

The meetings concluded with the AGM, which saw the appointment of three-time Olympian Emily Brydon, of Fernie, BC, who was elected to the VP Athletics role on the Board of Directors. Murray Smith, also a former World Cup skier, was appointed to the role of Okanagan Zone Chair, while Graham Cope was elected to BC Alpine Board Chair position, replacing Hugh MacNaught, who was the Board Chair since 2013.

“We send Hugh off with a heartfelt thank you for all that he has done, not just for BC Alpine, but in representing the provinces on the PTSO Board for so many years. Job well done Hugh!”

Anders Hestdalen, BC Alpine CEO

See below for a complete listing of awards and bursaries.

ATHLETE BURSARIES AND AWARDS

Dave Murray Ski Foundation Bursary – $750
Heming Sola, BC Ski Team/Okanagan Ski Team/Apex Ski Club

Dave Murray Ski Foundation Bursary – $750
Jasmine Coubrough, Okanagan Ski Team /Vernon Ski Club

Bob Parsons Memorial Fund Bursary – $1,000
Molly Raymond, Okanagan Ski Team /Apex Ski Club

Bob Parsons Memorial Fund Bursary – $1,000
Finley Cashin, Okanagan Ski Team /Big White Ski Club

Ski Canada Bursary – $500
Roxy Coatesworth, Black Dogs Ski Club/Golden Kicking Horse Alpine Team

Ski Canada Bursary – $500
Tylee Carr, Vernon Ski Club

Cary Mullen Sportsmanship Award
Takoda Ito, Okanagan Ski Team/Big White Ski Club

Cary Mullen Sportsmanship Award
Brooke Irish, Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club

COACH AWARDS

Learn/Train to Train Coach of the Year
Leslie Firstbrook, Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club

U16 Coach of the Year
Andrew Lambert, Vernon Ski Club

FIS Coach of the Year
Samantha Fournier, Okanagan Ski Team

Head Coach of the Year
Ben Cohen, Kimberley Alpine Team

Team of the Year
Kimberley Alpine Team

Hustler of the Year
Rod Timm, Fernie Alpine Ski Team

VOLUNTEER/OFFICIALS AWARDS

Coast Zone Volunteer/Official of the Year
Catherine Grant, Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club

Kootenay Zone Volunteer/Official of the Year
Steven Koles, Fernie Alpine Ski Team

North Zone Volunteer/Official of the Year
Ben Weinstein, Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club

Okanagan Zone Volunteer/Official of the Year
Dave and Diana Veitch, Big White Ski Club

Moira Jaatteenmaki Officials’ Award
Rob Tupper, Vernon Ski Club

Volunteer of the Year
Gerry Whittaker, Big White Ski Club

EVENT/RESORT/CLUB/PRESIDENT AWARDS

Event of the Year
Whistler BC Cup Speed Series, Whistler Mountain Ski Club

Mountain Resort of the Year
Apex Mountain Resort

Mountain Resort of the Year
Kimberley Alpine Resort

Club Development of the Year
Smithers Ski & Snowboard Club

Long Term President’s Award
Doug Jevning, Whistler Mountain Ski Club

Long Term President’s Award
Hugh MacNaught, BC Alpine Ski Association

BC Alpine names 13 skiers to the 2022 BC Training Group

BC Alpine names 13 skiers to the 2022 BC Training Group

BC Alpine announced the addition of six young women and four young men from across the province to the BC Training Group, a major stepping stone towards BC Ski Team selection.

All newcomers to the provincial system, the 10 skiers represent five ski clubs: Whistler Mountain Ski Club qualified four, Grouse-Tyee Ski Club three, Big White Racers, Sun Peaks Alpine Club and the Vernon Ski Club, each with one a piece.

The 10 ski racers will join three returning members – Tait Jordan (WMSC), Dylan Timm (FAST) and Heming Sola (Apex/OST) – throughout the summer and preparation phase. 

The BCST for the 2022-23 season will be named in November.

“We are very proud of the athletes in BC and of the rich history for excellence and performance among our racers,” said Anders Hestdalen, the BC Alpine CEO. “More than a third of national team athletes come from BC and our coaches and athletes are tirelessly working to continue that success.”

Six young women “pushing hard”

Montana Molyneux returns to the BCST staff this season but in a new role as the head coach of the women’s program.

“It’s been amazing to have this group come together to push each other and themselves out of their comfort zones and work hard,” said Molyneux. “This is a great group of young women and they are working hard to establish a strong team culture.”

The women’s group will continue training in Whistler “focusing on building their bodies, mindsets, and their team’s culture,”and have an on snow camp scheduled in Europe in early September.

Mix of youth and experience for men’s group

According to BCST men’s head coach Morgan Pridy the men’s group is brimming with potential along with stability from the returning skiers.

“It’s still early but our training group athletes are figuring out each day a bit more about what kind of work it will take to be prepared for our upcoming on-snow camps in the late summer and fall,” said Pridy. “We are really fortunate to have a strong veteran presence in TJ (Tait Jordan), Heming (Sola), and Dyl (Dylan Timm) to lend an assist in showing them the ropes and hopefully aiding in a smooth transition from training group to the BCST in the future.”

Some BCST members are not returning to the team. “A heartfelt goodbye and thank you to Nathan Romanin (WMSC), Heiko Ihns (RMR) and Gerrit Van Soest (VSC) for their years of commitment and leadership; we wish them all the luck in the world with their future endeavours which they will undoubtedly crush,” said Johnny Crichton, BC Alpine VP Athletics. 

Pre season training for the men’s group will include an on-snow camp in Chile for four weeks in late August to late September at El Colorado. “Elevation is about 11,000 feet so the training prior to this is very important if we actually want to be able to train at that elevation,” said Pridy who will be joined by returning coach Dustin Koepke.

In October the group will train at the “Ice Box” (indoor skiing) in Austria as well as some glacier training in Germany.

BC Ski Team:

  • Dylan Timm (2002) Fernie Alpine Ski Team (Fernie)
  • Heming Sola (2003) Apex Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Summerland)
  • Tait Jordan (2002) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)

BC Women’s Training Group:

  • Shayna Little (2005) Big White Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Kelowna)
  • Mila Plavsic (2004) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (Vancouver)
  • Talyn Lorimer (2004) Sun Peaks Alpine Club (Kamloops)
  • Erin Husken (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)
  • Alexa Brownlie (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Whistler)
  • Ella Kaufmann (2005) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (North Vancouver)

BC Men’s Training Group:

  • Sascha Gilbert (2004) Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Whistler)
  • Graeme Eder (2005) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (Coquitlam)
  • Dylan Stevens (2004) Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club (North Vancouver)
  • Oliver Young (2004) Vernon Ski Club/Okanagan Ski Team (Coldstream)

Coaching Staff:

  • Morgan Pridy, Men’s Head Coach
  • Montana Molyneux, Women’s Head Coach
  • Dustin Koepke, Men’s Coach

For more information:

Johnny Crichton
BC Alpine VP Athletics
johnny@bcalpine.com
(250) 371-7754