Penticton's Matt Margetts finished third in halfpipe final action at a FIS freestyle ski world cup at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Penticton's Matt Margetts finished third in halfpipe final action at a FIS freestyle ski world cup at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Penticton kid Margetts gets his Olympic shot

Freestyle skier named to national team that will head to Sochi

Matt Margetts said being named to Canada’s freestyle ski Olympic team Monday relieved some pressure, but it’s also back on.

“Just excited to get there and go and do as best as I can,” said Margetts of competing in 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia. “Enjoy the experience and the journey has been awesome.”

Margetts and the sport of halfpipe skiing will be making their Olympic debut. When he informed his family who resides in Penticton of the news, Margetts laughed as he said they were almost more excited than he was.

“I had to tell them to cool their jets,” he said. “Everyone is really excited. They are really happy for me.”

The former Apex Ski Club member said plenty of hard work, blood, sweat and tears went into achieving his goal. He was in Park City, Utah last weekend  for the final two qualifying events. The team had been following results closely so Margetts had a hunch he would be named. Margetts best result this season is a third-place finish in a World Cup event in Calgary.

“The season has been really good. It’s been very busy,” said Margetts. “I’ve really been focusing on just recovering and staying healthy.”

That final weekend of competition was cut short during Margetts second run on Jan. 17. He cut the inside of his left calf. While he received 12 stitches, the injury will not prevent him from going to Sochi.

“I’m just being cautious with it,” said Margetts, who isn’t sure how he cut himself.

Margetts’ confidence level is high and he believes his chances of reaching the podium are very good. The competition he faces in Sochi will be roughly the same he sees now, with the exception of fewer Americans.

“There is so many talented Americans,” he said. “The thing that I have always not agreed with the Olympics is that at the Olympics we will not be competing against the best in the world.”

The reason behind that is because of the limited spots.

“Canada and the States aren’t able to take all of their best people because there’s more than four top competitors in our sport,” he added.

While Margetts has put in a lot of hard work to accomplish what he has thus far, he’s also been inspired by a former coach, Josh Dueck of Kimberley. Dueck sustained a spinal cord injury while coaching, but he bounced back and earned a silver medal in slalom for Canada during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

“That was very inspiring, very amazing feat that he accomplished,” said Margetts, who maintains a close relationship with Dueck.