Jack Crawford did so well in Austria he was asked to stay a little while longer.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) member posted an 11th-place super-G finish in Radstadt-Reiteralm on Jan. 15 in European Cup action and a 13th-place giant slalom result in St. Lambrecht in a FIS race on Jan. 11.
He'll stick around and make his FIS World Cup debut this weekend in Kitzbuhel, competing in the alpine combined and super-G on Jan. 22 and the slalom on Jan. 24. Though he was initially nothing but happy, the 18-year-old admitted other emotions started to hit him later on.
"I started to feel my nerves take over. My brain was running through every single outcome possible. With all the different emotions I had after the meeting I could only be happy, there was absolutely nothing that could upset me. I was finally given the opportunity to start a World Cup after years and years of dedication and hard work," he said when reached by email in Austria.
Crawford acknowledged he's had an inconsistent season overall, though he's found a groove in the past week. Even though he'll be competing against the planet's best, he's taking the attitude that the "World Cup is just a fancy name for a ski race."
"It will be hard but I am going to try and treat these races the exact same as any other race," he said.
Jobin, Andrewshenko capture Air Nation Canada Cup wins
A young Quebec snowboarder powered his way to a win here in Whistler on Jan. 17.
Francis Jobin, 17, put up a strong second run of 87.8 to win at the Sport Chek Air Nation Canada Cup slopestyle event. He edged out Philippe Fournier, who scored 86.3, and Keassy Patenaude, who notched an 84.7.
"It's always fun to start the season with winning a contest. For sure, it helps me building confidence but I'd rather not make too much of a big deal in contest and just have fun," Jobin said in a Facebook message.
Jobin noted he was excited to score the 50 FIS points in order to help him earn invitations to bigger contests like the Revolution Tour, though his main goals on-course are to compare his riding to other competitors and to enjoy the time with his friends.
On the women's side, Whistler resident Gillian Andrewshenko eked out the win with a top score of 60.0 to knock off Katherine Lacroix-Vogel's 59.2 and Baily McDonald's 52.2.
WMSC skiers strong in Mount Washington
Whistler Mountain Ski Club's (WMSC) U14 athletes made a run on the podium in giant slalom action at Mount Washington on Jan. 16 and 17.
The Jan. 17 giant slalom was reduced to one run due to chairlift issues, but in women's action, Alexandra Chartrand, Tara Brudar and Freya Jumonville swept the podium.
The day before, Virginia Nicolls, Chartrand and Vera Bulowski completed a Whistler run on the podium in a one-run GS run, while Chartrand and Nicolls switched spots to take one and two in the afternoon's one-run race.
The men's giant slalom on Jan. 17 was also cut back to one run, and WMSC skier Luke Hoefer made the podium in third.
Whistler's domination was evident on Jan. 16 in the first one-run giant slalom event as the club took every spot in the top 10 except for the victory. Luke Hoefer and Tait Jordan captured the second- and third-place positions.
In the second, Beauregard skied to the win while Nicolls and Shandro helped with the podium sweep.
WMSC U14 head coach Dani Robson was pleased to see her charges generally perform quite well in conditions that ranged from foggy to sticky to rutty over the course of the team's time on Vancouver Island.