Two Whistler skiers have been named to the Canadian World Junior Championship team, which will debut in Verbier, Switzerland on Feb. 3 in the downhill.
"We have put together a team of the best junior racers in Canada today," says Alpine Canada athletic director Joze Sparovec. "Our goal is to be in the top-five in the nations standings. We have an experienced mens team and some good chances especially in downhill to score top results."
The 11-member team is comprised of seven men and four women from across Canada, including Whistlers Christina Risler and Michael Janyk. Both local racers are 18 and climbed the ranks to the national junior team from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club to the B.C. Ski Team.
Other racers named to the womens World Junior team include Kelly Vanderbeek (Kitchener, Ontario), Stephanie Oullette-Decoste (Mont Tremblant, Quebec), and Elizabeth Richardson (Invermere, B.C.).
The mens team is comprised of Jan Hudec (Banff, Alberta), Erik Guay (Mont Tremblant, Quebec), Julien Cousineau (Lachute, Quebec), Ryan Semple (Mont Tremblant, Quebec), Cameron Barnes (Canmore, Alberta), and Michael Tichy (Port Moody, B.C.).
The seven-day, five discipline event will take place at four neighbouring ski areas Villars, Leysin, Les Diablerets, Gryon and Les Mosses.
The World Junior Championships are viewed as an instrumental part of the evolution of a ski racer. Some past junior champions that have moved on to success in the World Cup include Fernies Emily Brydon (combined champion in 2000), Melanie Turgeon (giant slalom and combined champion in 1994), Edi Podivinsky (downhill champion in 1989) and Kevin Wert (downhill champion in 1994).