Despite numerous injuries, Yukon Canada Winter Games alpine ski team athletes are hoping for personal bests, said coach Dick Eastmure.
Skier Sammy Kent, who goes to school in Calgary so that he can take part in higher-level events, broke his ankle two months ago at a race in Lake Louise, Alberta.
He is currently wearing an air-cast, but is due to have it removed this week.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and skiing with the team if I can,” said Kent.
“I’m super excited; it’s going to be so fun.”
This past weekend, the team was at a Super-G training event in Smithers, BC, when skier Raissa Anderson flew off a bump in the slope and “tweaked” her knee, said Eastmure.
He is hoping Anderson’s knee is simply sprained and will heal quickly before the Games.
The team has also picked up a new member from Calgary who is apparently a high-level skier, said Eastmure.
“She’ll be a nice addition to the team as she’s a pretty good skier,” he said.
The Yukon alpine team has the same problems many of the territory’s teams face.
They are not able to make it down to high-level events in southern BC and Alberta.
With Mt. Sima’s limited facilities, Yukon athletes are hindered at the national level.
“I don’t think we’ll be contending for medals,” said Eastmure.
“It’s a very high level of competition, but we may do well in what is called the Canada Division where we’ll be competing with the smaller provinces, like P.E.I., Newfoundland and New Brunswick.
I’m hoping that they’ll be competitive with those kids.”
This year’s team is on the young side, with ages ranging from 14 to 17.
“I think this will be a really good experience for them,” said Eastmure.
“I’m hoping each one of them will improve as they compete against that level of competition.”
The team did some intensive training over Christmas break to prepare for the Games.
Though the chairlift at Mt. Sima was broken, they were able to ride up the hill on snowmobiles and get in run after run.
It was more intense than using the chair, said Eastmure.
They have also been to three race events in BC this season, one at Silverstar, one at Terrace and one in Smithers.
“Overall the team has been doing quite well; they’ve been dominating when competing with kids at their level,” said Eastmure.