Four women and three men from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club members have been selected to the 17-member 2001-2001 B.C. Ski Team and Development Team one of the largest teams in provincial history.
In all, the athletes were selected from eight different clubs and all four competitive zones around the province based on past results, rankings and potential.
"Im looking forward to working with this group of guys," said Dusan Grasic, a Slovenian native of the mens head coach for the past seven seasons. "Weve got an older, more experienced group combined with a very strong group of young athletes coming up through the clubs," he said.
"Its an exciting mix with a diverse variety of goals. Its a tremendous opportunity for the entire team as the guys will learn from each other."
Jeff Robinson of Prince George will return for his second year as assistant coach.
Recently appointed womens head coach Ryan Jazic is also excited about the teams prospects. "Weve got a good mixture of youth and experience which bodes well for the season ahead. Everyones excited and theres a good feeling among the athletes."
Whistler Mountains Igor Dostal will join the team as an assistant coach.
B.C. Ski Team athletes train year-round to compete nationally and internationally in downhill, super giant slalom, giant slalom and slalom events. They get about 120 days on snow a year, and stay in training throughout the summer with mountain biking, running, weight training and gymnastics. There are also camps in Whistler, at Mt. Hood in Oregon, and in Chile.
Throughout the winter they attend between 45 and 50 competitions, spending a month in Europe.
The B.C. Team has provided a good stepping stone to the national team in recent years, with 11 B.C. athletes including five Whistler skiers training with Team Canada this summer.
Merrill Lynch will support ski racing in B.C. for a second year, and is the title sponsor of the womens team. TIM-BR Mart is also the title sponsor of the mens team. Pontiac GMC provides the team vans, Air Canada provides air travel, and Descente outfits the athletes and coaches each season.
The 200-2001 B.C. Ski Team:
Jennifer Bertram, Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Development)
Christina Lustenberger, Windermere Valley Ski Club
Linsey Martens, Silver Star Ski Club (Development)
Stephanie McDougal, Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Development)
Alexandra McLean, Whistler Mountain Ski Club (Development)
Katie McMillan, Prince George Alpine Ski Team (Development)
Anna Paczkowski, Seymour Ski Club (Development)
Rachel Walker, Whistler Mountain Ski Club, (Development)
Scott Anderson, Red Mountain Racers
Stuart Bilodeau, Windermere Valley Ski Club
Aaron Civitarese, Red Mountain Racers
Sean Cochrane, Prince George Ski Team (Development)
Robbie Dixon, Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Tyler Harrison, Smithers Ski Club (Development)
Scott Hume, Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Graham Kraft, Silver Star Ski Club
Manuel Osborne Paradis, Whistler Mountain Ski Club