CANMORE – A Canmore speed demon is headed across the pond for a taste of international competition.
Fifteen-year-old Caleb Brooks, who skis for the Lake Louise Ski Club qualified to join the Alberta Alpine U16 European Project, and will look to gain valuable experience in Slovenia and Croatia during the nine day trip.
Brooks, a Grade 10 student at École Notre-Dame des Monts, will have the opportunity to race against the fastest U16 alpine athletes in the world in the race series, which will feature racers from more than 30 countries.
Ski racing since the age of eight, Brooks mother Genevieve Giroux recalls placing him in the sport because “he liked to go fast.”
“He always gravitated towards skiing between the gates and he wasn’t afraid to go fast. He really took off well to the racing,” said Giroux.
“It’s an amazing experience for him. He has always worked hard and deserves this opportunity, I think it can only help him to become a better skier.”
The team of six Alberta skiers will get their first taste of international competition in the 45th annual Pokal Loka International Children’s ski race in Slovenia.
The three day event (Feb. 14-17) will see skiers race head-to-head in the parallel slalom, followed by the giant slalom and slalom.
After wrapping up in Slovenia, the team will pack up and make the two hour journey south to neighbouring Croatia, for a slalom event near Zagreb on Feb. 18-19.
Thanks to numerous podium finishes this season, Brooks was able to qualify for the elite team. Currently this season, Brooks is ranked second in the overall U16 Alberta Alpine standings. He holds the top spot in the giant slalom, second in slalom and fourth in the super-G.