Yukon alpine skier Katie Vowk had a feeling early on that she was going to have a good week at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland.
It wasn’t when she won her first race. It was when she was going down the course and brushed a gate so fast and hard that it tore out of the ground.
“It boosted my confidence for the rest of the Games and helped motivate me to push to the limit,” said Vowk in an email to the News. “It was an awesome and eye-opening experience.”
The 15-year-old did in fact have a good week, winning a medal in every event for junior female.
Vowk won gold in the slalom Tuesday, a silver in giant slalom (GS) Wednesday and another silver in parallel slalom on Thursday on the final day of racing in Nuuk.
“I felt really good and sturdy on the hill. The conditions were windy and visibility was minimal but I was able to ski through it,” said Vowk, who won a gold and silver at the last Arctic Games as well. “Greenland has a great hill and the athletes and volunteers have been so welcoming and amazing! I’m loving my stay in Greenland!”
With Vowk’s three ulus, the Yukon alpine ski team won a total of six individual medals – the same as at the 2014 Games in Fairbanks – and placed second in the team competition behind Alaska and ahead of Greenland.
The Yukon team had three gold medal winners in Greenland.
Yukon’s Charlie Hawes also opened the Games with a gold medal win, placing first in the junior male slalom. The 15-year-old went on to place fourth in the GS.
“The first day we had slalom and it was a very nice course. The course setter did a very good job setting the course and it really paid off in my favour,” said Hawes, also in an email. “Winning gold in the first day got me very excited for the next races. Going into the competition I was very nervous and after the day was over I gained so much confidence.”
Shane Orban, 14, was Yukon’s other medalist. Orban won gold in parallel slalom and silver in slalom in junior male. He also sped to sixth in the GS.
Other Yukon results include Wesley Vangel fourth in GS for juvenile male; Liam Diamond sixth in slalom and eighth in GS for juvenile males; Felicity Vangel seventh in slalom for junior female; Mollie Fraser seventh in slalom and GS for juvenile female; Anna Potvin seventh in GS for junior female; Greta Gladwin ninth in slalom for juvenile female; Noah Wright ninth in slalom and GS for juvenile male; Manas Toews ninth in GS for junior male; and Rosa
Martens de Repentigny 10th in GS for juvenile female.
“I’d like to point out how well the whole team is doing. We have young racers here for the first time doing so well,” said Hawes. “Everyone on the team put everything on the hill and tried as hard as they could and produced great results.”
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