LAKE LOUISE – The young Canadian alpine team may be inexperienced on the world cup circuit, but not at Lake Louise.
While the Canadian’s may not be fond of the steep and technically demanding course at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, they are familiar with it.
Most members of the Canadian squad racing at Lake Louise for their first, second or third times in their career, have previous experience on the course as a forerunner. Forerunners provide systems checks for timers and television broadcasters prior to the race.
Brodie Seger started forerunning when he was 15 and recalls thinking “Why am I doing this?”
For Canmorite Jeffrey Read, Lake Louise is the a ski hill he grew up on.
“It’s amazing skiing here, it’s a course I grew up skiing on with my family. I love having the energy of the crowd in the finish and really giving it to you no matter how you do,” said Read, who finished 46th in the downhill and 49th in the super-G.
“It’s fun to see all the kids after the race yelling at you for your bib or a signature, I remember being one of those kids,” Read said with a laugh.
Seger echoed Read’s sentiment for the home crowd.
“Hearing the roar of the crowd is pretty great, but especially having my family here and being able to see them and give them a hug after the race is really special."
Seger scored the top Canadian result over the weekend, finishing 16th in the super-G on Sunday (Dec. 1) during the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Benjamin Thomsen, racing on an injured left knee, was the only other Canadian to finish inside the top 30 during Saturday's (Nov. 30) downhill.
Racing in his first world cup was Cameron Alexander, who finished in 48th in the downhill event. Rounding out the Canadian team was, James Crawford who finished 57th in the downhill and 39th in the super-G, and Dustin Cook, who came in 50th in the super-G event.
Apart from 32-year-old Benjamin Thomsen, the majority of his teammates are under the age of 23 and are looking to make an impact in the alpine racing scene this season. The young skiers have set ambitious, but attainable goals for the season of finishing consistently in the top 30.
“That’s where the money and the points are,” said Read referring to finishing in the top 30. “That’s where I want to be this year.”
Veteran Thomsen is happy with his 30th place finish in the downhill event on Saturday, but expects more from himself. He wants to crack the top 10, and is thankful to have a young and hungry team supporting him.
“It’s really nice to have those young guys supporting me and pushing me. Last year was a little bit of a lone wolf season,” said Thomsen.
The close-knit Canadian team was buzzing after Seger’s inspiring run and will look to build off the momentum as they head to Beaver Creek Colorado next weekend.
“It was so inspiring because we’re such a tight-knit group. It’s just amazing to see a performance like that and it really motivates the whole crew. Hopefully we can meet him up there,” said Read.