After winning two gold medals and three bronze medals in the provincial track championships in July, Whistlers Matt Chater wanted nothing more than to return to the National Track Cycling Championships in Bromont, Quebec.
After racing in the nationals last year with mixed results, Chater worked with a coach and a few of his friends to take his track riding to another level. His results at the provincials showed how much he had improved in one year, but at the same time he couldnt afford to return to the nationals.
In true Whistler style, local businesses stepped up to help Chater get to Bromont. Snowcovers Sports held a fundraiser in the store, and local businesses pitched in with equipment and prizes for the fundraising event. His list of local supporters includes Schwalbe Tires, the Burnaby Velodrome Club, Canadian ATV Adventures, Food Plus, The Rim Rock, Earls Bistro, Nesters, Sachi Sushi, the Pemberton Valley Golf and Country Club and others.
Chater made the most of the opportunity.
In the Olympic Sprint event, Chater and his partners Murray Solem of Kitsilano and Joel Regimbald of Calgary succeeded in winning the silver medal. In the gold medal event, they had to do a restart as a result of a problem in the start area.
"The opposition got stuck in the start area and we had to avoid them at about 55 kilometres an hour. It was like threading a needle trying to squeeze through the racers and officials," said Chater.
"We had a restart five minutes later, which was a bit unfair since we had just 100 per cent of our efforts, but oh well that is racing."
In the Kilometre Time Trial, Chater placed eighth in Canada, beating the mark he set last year by almost four seconds and setting a new personal best. He also finished eighth in the 200 Metre with a top speed of 67 km/h.
He also made it to the quarter finals in the match sprints, and the semi-finals in the Kierin.
"In all, the Nationals were a very positive experience for me," said Chater. "I would not have been able to go if it wasnt for a group of very generous and supportive people."
Chater plans to continue to train this winter at the track in Burnaby, as well as on the road and mountain bike trails around Whistler until the snow flies.