PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.
You have to go all out. It may spell disaster or lead to glory – that’s the nature of alpine skiing.
Yukon’s Samantha Richardson and Katelyn Vowk rolled those dice this week at the Canada Winter Games, but they have come up snake eyes more often than not.
“That’s normal. It’s about controlling your speed – going for it and making it or going for it and making a mistake,” said Vowk. “It happens quite often.”
The two skiers have one placement between the two of them after two races this week.
Richardson took 44th in Monday’s giant slalom in front of two Saskatchewan finishers at the Purden Ski Village about 60 kilometres outside of Prince George.
“My first run I fell, but managed to get back up and finish the course, so I wasn’t disqualified,” said Richardson. “I got to redeem myself in the second run … I had a really good run and I finished 33rd (in the run.)”
Vowk was one of 20 skiers in the field who did not finish on Monday. In her first run she finished with a time of 1:17.76 for 30th. A second run at the same speed would have put her in 29th place.
“Monday wasn’t so bad because I had a really good first run and I was super happy about it,” said Vowk. “I was top-30 out of 66 girls – I felt great.”
Both Yukon skiers were among 24 either to not finish or be disqualified in Wednesday’s slalom event.
Vowk straddled a gate in her first run and Richardson had a more dramatic end to hers.
“Today I wasn’t skiing my best and I just clipped a gate near the end and I spun around and I got a mouth full of snow,” said Richardson. “It was fun.”
“This morning I was pretty disappointed because it was the sixth gate and I straddled it,” said Vowk.
It wasn’t part of the original plan, but both have signed on to compete in the skicross competition at the end of the week. It’ll be both skiers’ just second time racing skicross since taking part in separate events more than a year ago in Smithers, B.C.
Richardson made it to the final the time she did it.
“I got taken out,” said Vowk. “But I was really young; I was like 12.”
“The Games have been great,” added Vowk, who won gold and silver at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games. “The opening ceremony was really exciting. The skiing has been great, great skiing conditions, everything.”
“It’s been really awesome so far,” said Richardson. “Everybody is really nice and everybody is really happy to be here – I’m really happy to be here. It’s a really nice atmosphere.”
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