Mogul skier eyeing spot on national team

Andi Naude blushes when asked if what her accomplishments as a mogul skier in four years are good.

Andi Naude looks on from the podium as she took first place during the Canadian Selections camp recently at Apex Mountain.

Andi Naude looks on from the podium as she took first place during the Canadian Selections camp recently at Apex Mountain.

Andi Naude blushes when asked if what her accomplishments as a mogul skier in four years are good.

She smiles, but isn’t sure how to respond.

“I just like being out on the mountain,” said Naude, who admits to being more of an individual sport person than team sports.

“Fresh air and good friends. I have just always loved skiing.”

Naude has a first place finish in the single and dual moguls in the junior nationals and Canada Winter Games, third in the Europa Cup 2011 single moguls and fourth in the NorAm and senior national single moguls.

Naude is now a member of the Whistler Academy mogul team, joining them in May after having a successful season with the B.C. Freestyle Ski Team. One of her feats last season was placing fourth in a NorAm event against national team members. She also qualified for the junior world championship in Finland to represent Canada. Naude described that as a “cool experience,” as she never thought she would represent her country.

The Okanagan Falls native is excited to have made the jump. She likes that the team is small because it’s as if each skier has their own coach. Since her time with the Apex Freestyle Club, Naude has seen dramatic growth.

“It’s hard to understand how anyone can improve so much over such a short period of time,” she said, adding that great coaches have helped as well as her parents.

“My parents inspire me,” said Naude. “They have always been supportive.”

This season the 15-year-old, who enjoys swimming, running and water skiing, will compete in the NorAm circuit and is determined to make the world juniors held in Italy. She also hopes to make the national team by season’s end.

One of the things she enjoys about being part of the sport is the travel, which has taken her to different countries. Naude enjoyed Switzerland. Her ultimate goal is to represent Canada in the Olympics. If she can accomplish that, she will have reached the level of Jennifer Heil and Kristi Richards, who she looks up to.

“They are just so good and positive,” said Naude, who was invited by Heil and her boyfriend to stay with them at their home during the summer. “I got to see how they work. Such a great experience.”