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Panorama Christmas Series, Recap

By Annabel Li, 01/02/23, 7:00AM PST


The week of December 19th saw the Vancouver Ski Team racing at Panorama for the annual Christmas Series. Though the temperature, rather stubbornly, stayed within the -25°C range throughout the entire trip, athletes were rewarded with perfectly grippy snow, a stunning mountain backdrop, and the opportunity to race with Olympian Cassidy Gray for the women. Yet nothing was as fulfilling as the experience of proving their grit and perseverance. Despite being confined to the lodge for most of the day, the team stayed undeterred. The challenging weather did not stop them from taking the slopes with focus and attack, and they got in three solid days of racing (2 GS, and 1 SL) before the last SL day was cancelled due to extreme temperatures. As well, the team lifted each other’s spirits and kept morale high. From daily sing-alongs to the VST Bangers playlist, to the squad who stayed on-hill to cheer on their teammates and help film video, the week passed by with no shortage of smiles.

VST ended their trip with a team dinner at Conrad’s Kitchen and Grill before heading home for the holidays.


The view from the top of the course

Being able to perform at their highest capability, even when faced with adversity, was a success shared by the team. As well, the tough conditions provided many opportunities for learning. Those lessons defined each athlete’s goals more clearly, and, with much of the season still to come, will be taken into later race series.

The athletes would like to give a huge thank you to Coach Titouan, who stayed out on the course all day. Whether through videotaping, motivational fist bumps or being there to discuss the course during the inspection, he always helped the athletes as much as he could, even at the expense of his extremities. VST also would like to thank John Irish, who volunteered to travel to Panorama with the team and lent a huge hand by lapping around with their much-desired layers and transporting their equipment. The dedication that John and Titouan showed was very much appreciated by all the athletes, and they can’t be thanked enough for their hard work and tireless support.

Thank you for reading, and Happy Holidays!