Sports

World Cup athletes at Apex for NorAm Cup

APEX FREESTYLE CLUB skier Koleton Phipps is excited about competing in his first NorAm Cup this weekend at Apex Mountain. He is among five AFC mogul skiers competing among an international field.  - Ronda Barzilay photo
APEX FREESTYLE CLUB skier Koleton Phipps is excited about competing in his first NorAm Cup this weekend at Apex Mountain. He is among five AFC mogul skiers competing among an international field.
— image credit: Ronda Barzilay photo

Apex Mountain is welcoming skiers from around the world as they battle for the podium in the NorAm Cup.

The NorAm Cup is the stepping stone and training ground to the World Cup. Acting as both an access point and holding area for the best developing skiers in the America’s and the world, the 2014 FIS Freestyle NorAm Cup has events in ski cross, moguls, dual moguls and aerials.

Athletes are from Canada, U.S.A. Australia, Japan, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany  and a lone athlete from Bermuda, including some of BC’s and Apex’s best.

From Apex, the list includes alumni Mason Barzilay, Kyle Parker, brothers Josh and Jordan Kober and Connor Spence, are Koleton Phipps, Joe Durham and Mackenzie Schwinghamer. AFC coach Kenni Kuroda said the calibre of the event is very high.

“The experience of being in this field will be rewarding enough,” he said. “Finishing in the top half of the field would be amazing.”

Phipps is excited to compete in his first NorAm.

“It’s like a really big deal for me,” said Phipps, who took second in the moguls during the Timber Tour event in Prince George last weekend.

“This season I’m feeling really confident with my skiing. It’s probably the best I’ve ever skied in all my competitions.”

Going into the weekend Phipps just wants to have one of his best runs.

“It’s mostly just experience for me. If I can just hold it together and put in a clean run it will be really good,” he said.

Phipps qualified for the NorAm Cup based on his performances in Canadian events. To compete against the level of skiers he will see, Phipps said it should only boost his confidence in lower level events. Giving him comfort is competing on his home course.

Spence is also looking forward to competing at Apex Mountain.

“It’s on my home mountain so it’s going to be fun,” said Spence, a member of the B.C. Freestyle mogul team along with Parker and Barzilay. “The course is always good at Apex.”

Spence isn’t placing expectations on himself other than to get the best results from his training. His only goal is to be among the final 16. The 17-year-old said the competition is pretty high.

“There are some world cup skiers competing right now, some of them that didn’t make the Olympics,” said Spence, who plans on improving by watching them.

Single mogul competitions begin Saturday in the morning, while dual moguls will be on Sunday, followed by the awards presentations at 4:45 p.m. at the Gunbarrel.

 

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