Penticton’s Josh Kober, coach of the B.C. Freestyle Team, sharing some pointers with Keremeos skier Kassidy Todd at Apex during a practice session ahead of the Toyo Canadian Selections Mogul event. Mark Brett/Western News

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

Named for Summerland’s sweetheart of the slopes, Kristi’s Run at Apex will host some of the world’s top skiers in this weekend’s Toyo Canadian Selections Mogul event.

This region will be well represented in the list of 70 athletes from across Canada and the 15 international positions filled from Japan.

They will include members of the host Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team led by Penticton’s own Josh Kober, who took over the moguls head coaching role for the 2017/18 season.

Kober’s credentials include competing on the FIS (International Ski Federation) NorAm Tour; being crowned a junior national champion in single and dual moguls at Apex in 2012 and a finalist at the Nor-Am Cup finals in Vail, Colorado in 2013.

Related: Naude close to realizing Olympic dream

Kober is following in his father Rob’s tracks. Rob Kober has been the national men’s mogul team head coach for over 15 years.

Josh recently completed his competition development technical training and this weekend’s event is his first at the helm of the team.

“I’m super excited to be here. I grew up skiing at Apex,” said Kober, who is now coaching his 18-year-old sister Chloe Kober, one of the team’s top prospects. “I’m excited to see all our hard work come together and reap the rewards.

Related: Freestyle skier Naude secures Olympic spot

“We have an awesome group and I feel really good, training wise it’s been amazing and we’ve worked so hard, no matter what the outcome I’m going to be really happy. It’s a pretty exciting time for me and I see a bright future for us.”

Along with his younger sister, Kober picked other local Team B.C. members Brayden Kuroda, Hayden Person and Kassidy Todd as contenders on the slopes this weekend.

Related: Todd sets sights on national team

The athletes in the two-day event will be judged on speed, air and their turns. There are two jumps on the course, athletes will be doing aerial maneuvers such as 720’s, D Spins (off axis, inverted rotations) and a back full, which is a back flip with 360-degree rotation and landing back in the moguls.

According to James Shalman, general manager of Apex Mountain Resort, Kristi’s Run has been rated by international coaches as one of the best courses on the World Cup circuit for its constant 26-degree pitch over its 220-metre length. He added considerable work has been done over the years to get it to its current state of perfection, which has attracted national and international teams to the mountain for training and World Cup events in 2006 and 2007.

Training for this weekend’s event began Thursday and continues Friday with the main competition Saturday and Sunday.

This is the first stop on the Canada Cup series.

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