K1 skier puts Yukon back in Whistler Cup

It has been a few years since the Yukon has had an alpine skier compete at the Whistler Cup, and Whitehorse's Josie Storey made the territory's return a good one.

It has been a few years since the Yukon has had an alpine skier compete at the Whistler Cup, and Whitehorse’s Josie Storey made the territory’s return a good one.

The 12-year-old K1 skier came back from Whistler, BC, with a 31st placement in the giant slalom over the weekend.

“I really like giant slalom,” said Storey, who was 23rd out of Canadians in the race. “I really like turning and stuff – I don’t know, I just enjoy it a lot.

“(I did well) considering there was a lot of people, but it wasn’t my best.”

Storey, who has skied for the Yukon Alpine Ski Team for the past three years, occupied the Yukon’s one allocated spot on the Canada West Division team, which included Manitoban and Saskatchewan skiers, carrying the Yukon flag in the parade.

The event welcomed approximately 375 skiers, between the ages of 11 and 14, from 21 countries.

“It was awesome, I really liked it,” said Storey. “There were so many people there from lots of different places and I got to meet a lot of them.”

Storey opened the cup with a 42nd finish in the “super combi” event that combines giant slalom and slalom into one race. It is not the best event for Storey, who was 35th out of Canadians.

“It’s quite difficult doing the transition from different sizes of gates, to slalom sizes,” said Storey.

Though preferring giant slalom, Storey almost had her best result in Sunday’s slalom, but was disqualified – as many others were – after missing a gate. Had she not missed it, her time would have placed her in 22nd.

“That was probably my best time, if I hadn’t missed it,” said Storey. “Slalom isn’t my specialty. It’s complicated because there’s just so many gates.”

Storey missed an outside gate following a “flush”- a row of particularly close together gates.

“She skis as fast as she can, and that’s the thing, when you ski as fast as you can, sometimes you make a mistake and it costs you a run,” said Yves Titley, head coach of the Yukon Alpine Ski Team. “On race-day you go as fast as you can and hope for the best.”

“It’s really hard to figure out what to do at the time,” said Storey. “I just went around the wrong gate.”

Earlier this season Storey took 12th at a Sun Peaks K1 race in January and later won two gold medals at the Yukon Cup in Watson Lake last month. As a member of Team Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games last year, Storey took ninth in both the slalom and parallel slalom for juvenile female division and came 10th in the giant slalom.

“Josie has been consistent the last two years in her runs, so hopefully next year she will improve in her technique with more starts,” said Titley. “With more experience perhaps she will be a little less nervous, because all the kids at that age are quite nervous in races.”

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