The country’s top alpine skiers will be crowned in Whistler this year, as the Alpine Canadian Championships will be held in the resort at the end of March.
It will be the first time that Whistler has hosted national championship races since 2008 and will feature arguably the most talented collection of racers seen here since the Olympics.
Whistler’s Mike Janyk is a four-time national men’s slalom champ, sitting tied with technical great Thomas Grandi for most Canadian titles in the discipline. Janyk said he’s looking forward to a chance to set the new mark on his home mountain.
“I’m excited to have the national championships back home in Whistler,” Janyk said in an email. “All in all, it will be a great way to finish off my season — even better if I’ll be standing on top of the podium with another national title to boot.”
Janyk said being at home has its little advantages like sleeping in your own bed, which can make a “big difference” at the end of a long season. But he’s also excited to see the Whistler ski racing circles spring into action for the event.
“The community has a long history of ski racing and it shows every time there’s a big event like the nationals, World Cup or the Olympics,” he said. “It brings together a lot of amazing people in this valley through volunteerism, on and off the hill.”
Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) executive director Nigel Loring said races will be held in the new Dave Murray National Training Centre, where a downhill will be staged for the first time.
Athletes at the provincial and club level are also eligible to compete, giving youth racers a chance to see how they stack up against their idols.
The event is set to take place March 21 to 27, with the Para-Alpine Canadian Championships beginning at Sun Peaks on March 28.
Loring also noted that the club is hosting 20 days of racing this year and the WMSC is hoping to host a “race organizing summit” on Nov. 3 to discuss the busy schedule.