Apex Mountain Resort could become the future training grounds for Canada’s snowboard alpine team.
A lack of snow in northern Italy forced Canada’s world cup squad to change their plans and stay on home soil, arriving in Penticton Nov. 29.
“It’s been awesome,” said coach Rob Roy. “We’ve had great training for three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). Had good snow conditions. The turnaround time on the lift is important to us. It’s a short turnaround. The length of the hill and the pitch is right and the snow conditions were great. We have no complaints at all.”
When asked if the team would return in the future, Roy said, “I would think so.”
Roy, who is familiar with Apex Mountain, said that once he had seen the place up close, he realized the training possibilities. He has also had several chances to speak with Apex Mountain Resort manager James Shalman.
“It would work well for us. We are looking at some various options that could get us back here next November for a couple of weeks,” said Roy.
When Roy informed team members of the change in plans, Shandia Cordingley, their physiotherapist, suggested they come to Apex.
“In retrospect, I can look back after three days of training and I will say the decision was the right one to make,” said Roy.
Shalman welcomed the women’s team of Caroline Calvé, Ariane Lavigne and Marianne Leeson with open arms.
“It’s been great. We were able to come here sort of last minute,” said Calve, a two-time Olympian. “Already that’s amazing on Apex’s part to allow us to come and train here unexpectedly. A big thanks to Apex for letting us train here last minute like this. We really appreciate all the support they have given us for this little training camp.”
Calvé said the conditions were perfect.
“For us, for alpine snowboarding, it’s like for skiers, we like hard and groomed runs,” said Calve, who placed sixth in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
Calvé was impressed with the resort, calling it a “great little hill.”
“It’s a nice place. I like how it’s secluded,” she said. “In town there is barely any snow and you get up there and there is tons of snow. It’s a great place to have around your house.”
While in Penticton Shalman arranged for athletes to meet kids and other locals and Calvé appreciated it.
“It’s amazing when local people, you know for us, our local people are the Canadian people,” she said. “When a national team comes to a little community, and they say, ‘hey we welcome you, we are super happy to have you,’ it makes it so much better for us to train.”
When told of the possibility of returning, Calve, 36, said it’s a great idea instead of going to Europe for two weeks.
“Why not come here. It’s much better, it’s at home,” said the product of Aylmer, Que.