Andi Naude puts on golden performances

Okanagan Falls’ Andi Naude never expected to win because of the performances her competition put down on the mogul runs.

Andi Naude of Okanagan Falls carved up the moguls course at Apex Mountain Resort during a competition. The BC Freestyle team member won a  pair of gold medals recently at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax

Andi Naude of Okanagan Falls carved up the moguls course at Apex Mountain Resort during a competition. The BC Freestyle team member won a pair of gold medals recently at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax

Okanagan Falls’ Andi Naude never expected to win because of the performances her competition put down on the mogul runs.

However, Naude was full of excitement as she won gold in moguls and dual moguls during the Canada Winter Games on Feb. 17 and 18.

Naude, a student at Glenfir Academy in Summerland, earned her first gold when she scored 24.42 points, which bettered Katrine Bazinet of Quebec, who scored 23.14. In the dual moguls, she beat out Quebec’s Myriam Leclerc.

“It was super awesome,” said Naude of her wins. “I was really excited. I was hoping to be on the podium because I know all the drills and they are really awesome skiers. I was just really excited to be there.”

“I was very impressed with Andi’s performance,” said Team B.C. coach Andrew Clough. “The team was subject to an added stress when faced with moving accommodations early in the week due to bedbug infestation. This made it hard for athletes to focus and get the rest they needed. Andi showed a large amount of professionalism and maturity dealing with this situation and was able to perform when it counted.”

When it came to performing her runs, Naude said her mind state was simply on trying to stay positive.

“The worst that can happen is fall and it’s not a big deal,” said Naude, who has her two medals as a new decoration for her room. “Stay positive and focused on what you have to do.”

“I was very happy to see her win double gold. However, I was confident going into the games that if Andi was able to ski her best the results would be there,” he said. “Andi’s professionalism and ability to focus on the training process as opposed to getting caught up in results is what is currently enabling her to have success and will continue to do so in the future.”

Naude said her results boosts her confidence knowing she can do what she needs to. 

Reflecting on the Games, the 15-year-old said it was an amazing experience as she loved meeting people from across Canada and watching the best athletes perform. 

Penticton’s Hunter Visser, won a bronze medal in the half pipe after he scored 37.1 was pleased with his result, though he thought he could have done better. Because he didn’t land his first jump, he simplified his second run to ensure he  landed the next one.

“It was hard to land back in,” said Visser, noting when the pipe was cut, it was quite right. “It was intense against Canada’s best. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I was hoping. it was one of my goals for sure.”

The 16-year-old has been with the B.C. Pipe and Park team for two years and was the junior national champ in half pipe in 2009. He has won numerous medals in competitions across North America in the past five years.

Connor Spence, a member of the Apex Freestyle Club, enjoyed his experience as he placed fourth in single moguls, fifth in duals and seventh in big air.

It was a good experience for me and I got to compete against some pretty good skiers,” said Spence. “I feel like I did as best as I could and I put all my effort into it. I’m happy with the results.”

The Games wrap up on Sunday and as of Wednesday, Quebec had a commanding lead in the medal count with 78 compared to B.C.’s 48. B.C. had 15 gold, 17 silver and 16 bronze medals. Ontario leaped past B.C. for third with  49 medals, 18 of them gold.