Canada Ski Cross unveiled the names of additional athletes selected to its 2016-17 national development team Wednesday afternoon, tabbing a pair of Cranbrook-raised skiers to the program.
Zoe Chore, 18, and India Sherret, 18, both of Cranbrook, were named to the program roster, which includes six young female athletes from across the country, as well as nine men.
Both Chore and Sherret will take part in the newly-minted Centralized Training and Education Program out of Calgary, established by Canada Ski Cross, allowing them to continue pursuing Olympic dreams while also working towards a post-secondary education.
“We believe we can create a better athlete through this Centralized Program and target all aspects of an athlete’s development, including strength and conditioning, mental strength, sport-specific skills of ski cross such as starts and jumping, alpine technical skills, all while developing the academic and athletic character of the athlete,” said Willy Raine, ski cross athletic director at Alpine Canada Alpin, in a press release. “Based on our knowledge of the Canada Ski Cross World Cup team, which is currently ranked number one in the world, we have identified gaps in younger athletes and believe this program directly targets the next generation of ski cross successes while offering the athletes an opportunity to pursue post-secondary education.”
Athletes will train over 100 days on snow in addition to 32 days of ski cross-specific competition. Each athlete in the program receives support from the Government of Canada through Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program, providing assistance with living, training and education expenses.
“The Centralized Program is a great example of an organization ensuring that athletes that are involved in later-maturation sports have access to the type of services that can not only make them more successful athletically, but also ensure they have a more fortified after-sport pathway,” said Peter Judge, director of Winter Sport at Own the Podium, a not-for profit organization committed to furthering strategies for national sport organizations in an effort to achieve Olympic and Paralympic success. “It’s essential for Canada’s continued high performance success that mature athletes within the system have a more sustainable pathway.”
Chore represented Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Lillehammer, Norway, in February 2016.
“I met so many new friends I know I will see again,” Chore said following her trip to Lillehammer. “I felt so proud to be from Canada and from the Kootenays. Most people didn’t know where that was, but I think they will all know about skiing in Kimberley now.
“I have never seen or raced against this group of girls before. It was hard to judge where I lie in the field. Most of the other girls, despite where they come from, train in Europe all winter. I realized how much I value coming from Cranbrook where I have been able to be involved in other sports like soccer, rowing and track and where my home hill, Kimberley is always welcoming.”
Sherret won ski-cross gold at the 2015 FIS Freestyle World Junior Championship, while representing Canada in Valmalenco, Italy.
Both Chore and Sherret are expected to pursue World Cup races in 2016-17.
2016-17 Canada Ski Cross National C & D Team
Men’s RosterIan Deans (1991) – Lake Country, B.C.Kristofor Mahler (1995) — Markham, Ont.Tristan Tafel (1990) — CanmoreZach Belczyk (1996) – BanffMatthew Brady (1994) — Burlington, Ont.Reece Howden (1998) — Cultus Lake, B.C.Ned Ireland (1994) — Lake Country, B.C.Trent McCarthy (1995) — Spruce Grove, Alta.Kevin MacDonald (1993) — Mississauga, Ont.
Ladies’ RosterBritt Phelan (1991) — Mont Tremblant, Que.Zoe Chore (1998) — CranbrookTiana Gairns (1998) — Prince GeorgeCourtney Hoffos (1997) — Windermere, B.C.India Sherret (1998) — CranbrookAlexa Velcic (1997) — Calgary