Six members of the BC Ski Team are currently taking part in a 20-day competitive tour in Europe (Switzerland, France, Italy).
The athletes are:
Benita Peiffer (Whistler Nordic Ski Club)
Joe Davies (Whistler Nordic Ski Club)
Marielle Ackermann (Kimberly Nordic Ski Club)
Michael Murdoch (Whistler Nordic Ski Club)
Mila Wittenberg (Whistler Nordic Ski Club)
Paige Latta (Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, Vernon)
On Saturday, January 5th, the first B.C.racer of the day, Marielle Ackermann, from Kimberley, brought her A game as she fought her way to the front pack in the skate mass start at the Championnat de France U17. Marielle managed to finish in 6th place. The race day continued on with the older athletes racing in the late afternoon.
Cross Country BC reports that they were quite shocked to show up to a flat warm up loop around a small pond that took about 2 minutes to complete, although this was a small hurdle to overcome for the Canadian athletes. The races began with the girls heading out a mere 3 minutes before the boys. Unfortunately, Benita Peiffer lost her ski in the first lap of the race but managed to grind it out and earn herself a solid second place finish. The rest of our Canadian athletes managed top ten finishes. All in all, it was a great race day with fast skis, speedy skiers, and effective cheering.
On Sunday morning Marielle took a tumble early during her qualifier but still managed to qualify in 8th place. Just as heats were beginning, the rest of the team showed up with voices rested and ready to cheer! With the added support of wax techs and personal cheer squad, Marielle finished in 4th place.
To finish their first French experience, the team headed to the home of a former French exchange student/athlete (Lucie Colin*) where her family had prepared a traditional French meal. The meal consisted of cheese, potatoes, bread, assorted meats, salad, and ended with a gateau des roi (kings cake). This was a great way to wrap up the first week of the trip.
The BC Ski Team now heads to to Bessans, France for the Bessans Marathon du Ski on January 12 and then on to Sparenmoos, Switzerland for the FIS race on January 19 and 20. The team flies home on January 21.
Good luck to Marielle and the team on the next races.