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Mt Sima VST Race November 2022

Mt. Sima, Whitehorse FIS Race

By Annabel Li, 12/01/22, 8:00PM PST


VST’s first race of the 2022/2023 Season

With the promise of snow, spectacular training conditions, and, for many, their first go on the international stage, the Vancouver Ski Team headed to Mt. Sima, Whitehorse, for their first race of the season. Both the Core and Extended athletes carved down the Yukon’s slopes during the November 18th event. Though the latter stayed for an extra week after, all athletes had the privilege of seven days of training before the race. The snow was hard and fast - a welcome contrast to the softness and variability of the coast. The typical day started at 10am, just before the Whitehorse sunrise, and ended five to six hours later. The temperatures were very much below zero - twenty degrees below, and sometimes more - but that didn’t deter the athletes, who, arming themselves with hand warmers and piles of layers, were able to get in high-quality runs every day. Through the video sessions and constant feedback from the coaches, improvement was tangible.

Vancouver Ski Team 2.0

Photo credits: vancouverskiteam2.0 Instagram

A photo of Benedict

A photo of Benedict

Daily life:

For this trip, the athletes were put into different houses and were expected to look after themselves. They made their own meals and provided for their own needs. The typical post-ski routine included a team meeting before individual house dinners, ski preparations for the next day, and homework time (to keep up with the missed school.)

However, this wasn’t all that happened off snow. There was the annual “Secret Turkey,” a November version of secret Santa, where each athlete was tasked with getting someone else an entertaining (or amusingly deprecating) gift. As well, the team visited the Yukon Wildlife Reserve on their off day and befriended a moose (who they named Benedict and did not stop following them as they made their way around his enclosure.)

The hot dog and hot  chocolate tent in question

The hot dog and hot chocolate tent in question

The race:

The race was the first FIS event for much of VST. There was much that made it unforgettable: Mt. Sima’s hardworking crew set up speakers, organized swag, and, most importantly, put up a post-run tent for hot chocolate and fry-your-own hot dogs; the athletes at the event hailed from across Canada, with a few from as far as Sweden, Norway, and even New Zealand; the courses unfolded above Whitehorse’s bright blue river and rolling landscape.

(The hot dog and hot chocolate tent in question)

All in all, the knowledge, experiences, and fun memories gained from the trip made the frozen fingers and toes worth it. Huge thank yous to the Mt. Sima crew who made the event utterly amazing!