Whitehorse’s Ethan Davy has ridden his snowboard right into the history books.
The 15-year-old has become the first Yukon boarder to win a medal at a Canadian championship, taking silver at the Speed Nation Nationals at Mont Tremblant in Quebec, about 50 kilometres northwest of Montreal, on April 9.
“I’m pretty stoked at the moment,” said Davy. “I was kind of hoping (to win a medal) because I did pretty good in the B.C. series.”
Davy took silver in snowboardcross in the under-15 male division at the event that saw some of the best snowboarders from throughout North America compete.
He was the only Yukon competitor at the championship, which was his first nationals.
Davy placed second out of 19 boarders — needing a top-16 place — to qualify for the heats. He went on to win his quarterfinal and semifinal before placing second in the final.
“You just want to keep an open mindset, try to stay calm,” said Davy. “I just normally try to get ahead right out of the gate so I have an open track and don’t have to worry about passing people.”
Davy, who is a member of Snowboard Yukon’s competitive team, has won medals in snowboardcross (a.k.a. boardercross) at every event he’s attended this season.
He won two silver medals at a B.C. provincial event in January at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, B.C.
He then returned to Big White to win gold in boardercross at the Ride On Provincial Snowboard Series on March 5. (He also placed 11th in slopestyle at the event.)
Davy has represented Yukon at two major events. He placed 15th in slopesyle at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. He competed up a division in junior male at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland, which didn’t include a snowboardcross competition, placing sixth in slalom.
“It’s been great to see him climb up through the ranks,” said Snowboard Yukon head coach Mary Binsted. “He started out as a young rider in our (Sandor’s) Shredders program and he was our youngest member on the Canada Games team (where) he got his first exposure to snowboardcross at a higher level. Although he wasn’t old enough to ride in the event at the Canada Games, he got to be there and watch, and I think that probably planted the seed for his future success in that discipline.”
Davy also won silver in snowboardcross — in open male — at last month’s Yukon Snowboard Championship.
The last two years Whitehorse’s Mount Sima has hosted elite ski and snowboard teams for pre-season training. It seems the program is benefiting more than just the Outside athletes. Davy credits some of his success this season to time he spent training with Canada Snowboard’s para-snowboard team last November at Sima.
“The para guys took me under their wing at the start and it was really helpful,” said Davy.
“This was definitely my best season so far,” he added. “One of my coaches was talking about doing a summer camp for snowboardcross, but for now this is the end of the season.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org