The Kimberley Nordic Racers sent some of their best skiers to Whistler Olympic Park last week for the Haywood Western Canadian Championships. Quinn Morgan, Marielle Ackermann and Sydney Wilson had 3 busy days of racing, in extreme conditions ranging from minus 15 degrees celsius and heavy snow, to above zero and rain. Marielle Ackermann had an excellent skate sprint result, finishing 4th overall in the Open Women category. Marielle, who is 17, was racing in the older age category in order to gain more racing experience and therefore not expecting to make it to the finals. However, she was able to hold her own and finished 4th overall (3rd in the U20 category) by a fraction of a second. On Sunday, Marielle and Sydney were put on separate relay teams, representing their province of British Columbia. Their teams finished in 1st and 3rd respectively, dominating the other provinces.
Around 500 athletes from across western Canada and beyond travelled through true winter conditions for three days of racing. Significant race money and divisional championship points were at stake. It was an eventfor all ages and abilities; athletes ranged from young amateurs to high-calibre racers, and there were also very accomplished para-athletes in the mix.
Dirk Rohde, Event Chair, summed up the weekend as follows, “there were definitely some challenging conditions with the snow and cold but our volunteers pulled through to host another world class Olympic legacy event! It is always good to see the participation of some of the top skiers in Canada, including Olympian Emily Nishikawa.”