The South Okanagan is well-represented this week in New Brunswick for the Canadian Champion Series, an annual junior tournament.
Beginning on March 29, Penticton-based athletes Grady Parsons, Emelie McCaughey, Charlie Roberts and Trent Walkley started competing in single, dual and team mogul events at Crabbe Mountain in Fredericton.
The annual event, hosted by different cities every year, is scheduled to end on April 4.
The four athletes, who span in ages of 12 to 17, are among the 13 skiers representing B.C. in the national tournament.
“For some of them, it’s the first time they’re are travelling on their own,” said Kristi Richards, Freestyle Apex ski club’s head coach.
“They’re experiencing life on the road and this is their first taste of it.”
Richards, a Penticton-based skier herself, appeared at both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics while competing on the Canadian freestyle teams.
She joined Freestyle Apex as a head coach and program director in December of 2020 after becoming a World Cup Champion in 2007.
Representing the South Okanagan on the national stage is nothing new for the former Olympian and head coach but now, it’s time to pass down her knowledge to the next generation of Penticton skiers.
“It’s pretty cool for everything to come full circle, be a coach and give my experience back to these great athletes,” she said.
Freestyle Apex shined on the provincial stage in January, solidifying spots at the national championships for the four aforementioned junior skiers.
Richards sent two separate teams of Okanagan skiers for the provincial championships, one to Red Deer, Alta., and another to Panorama during the week of Jan. 15.
Results from the 2022 Canadian Championship Series will be made available on April 4.