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VST’s Nakiska Recap 2024

By Annabel Li, VST, 05/03/24, 7:15PM PDT


VST headed back to Alberta for their last event of the season!

GS Race, Day 6

GS Race, Day 6

The team trained at 2 of Banff’s other mountains, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, before heading to Nakiska for Alberta’s Spring Series. Joining a full field of 250 athletes from across North America, they raced 2 SLs under sunny t-shirt temperatures before season’s predictable unpredictability seemingly wound the resort back to mid-February overnight.

As it turns out, 250 racers make a pretty busy inspection!

As it turns out, 250 racers make a pretty busy inspection!

Athletes arrived on the third day to huge gusts of snow and a thermometer reading of ten below. Unfortunately, this cold snap and lack of surface ended up cancelling two consecutive days of racing, and the team went bowling instead, putting their competitive spirits to good use as they vied for a free Beavertail.

Luckily, the series was still able to finish off with GS races on the last two days. Athletes arrived for their 7am chairlift loads under stunning sunrise colours and perfectly clear skies, and the surface was solid, remaining hard and mostly rut-free down the rolls and flats of Mapmaker. It was a fun and high-spirited close to the season for all, with both genders maintaining an impressive finish rate and the men getting to launch off an in-course jump.

The final day in particular was full of positive energy as many partook in the last FIS race of their careers. Athletes crowded the finish, cheering loudly for teammates and non-teammates alike and waving celebratory signs and bottles of champagne. Though some kept the aura of competition, charging through the panels as they hunted for one last score, others dressed up in onesies and jean shorts in a “retirement run” send-off. Yet for all the racers moving on, there was no shortage of tears and smiles as they reflected on their long and fulfilling journeys with the sport.

Overall, the 2023-2024 season was filled with both turbulences and triumphs. Despite the frustrating weather patterns and cancelled races, VST gave their all to the sport, and gained big scores and valuable experiences in return. The team would like to thank Titouan and Nino for their guidance, and for supporting them through the tough times. They would also like to wish them the best of luck for the next chapter of their lives, with Titouan levelling up to a new and exciting coaching position, and Nino continuing his journey elsewhere.

Some of the athletes themselves will also be heading for uncharted territory as they say goodbye to the sport. Whether that will be McGill, Dalhousie, or the unlimited freedoms of a gap year, it’s undoubtable that the lessons from ski racing will carry them through the next phase of their life and beyond.

Thank you for making VST a true team, and we can’t wait to see what you do next!