Many young athletes were competing in their first official competition since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic at a central Alberta ski hill this weekend.
Freestyle Alberta and Freestyle Canada hosted moguls and dual moguls events as part of the Canada Cup Series at Canyon Ski Resort, just outside of Red Deer.
“Our registration list was extremely long, so there were lots of eager athletes to get back at it,” said Lyndsey Duffy, Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club president.
“Even though it’s an individual sport and your racing for yourself and your own time, everyone is still part of a huge team and they support each other. It’s great to have that team environment.”
Ninety-five athletes from across Canada competed in the event, which began Thursday and Friday with official training. The moguls competition was held Saturday and the dual moguls event was Sunday.
COVID-19 had shut down Canada Cup Series events over the past two years, so some athletes haven’t had a chance to participate in a competition like the one over the weekend in quite some time, said Duffy.
“For some of the kids, this is their first event of the year. It’s the first event in two years for a lot of kids as well,” she said.
“The age range is between 12 and 20, I believe. Some of them have been competing for multiple years and for others this is kind of their first year getting into this level. The kids are qualifying with backflips, front flips, big air jumps and things like that.”
Canyon Ski Resort is the perfect location for an event like this, Duffy added.
“Canyon hosted the Canada Winter Games in 2019 and the organizing committee put a lot of work into this slope course specifically to make it the perfect length and pitch of slope to make it an upper-level course. There aren’t a lot of (courses) that necessarily meet the (Canada Cup) requirements, so those Games helped do that here,” she said.