Tyler Mosher is used to winning medals for his efforts on snow, but the Whistler resident recently earned another recognizing his work off snow instead.
Mosher was recently named a recipient of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the lobbying efforts he put in to see para-snowboard added to the Paralympic program starting in 2014.
“It’s truly an honour to be one of the 60,000 Canadians selected for the award and be recognized for my efforts trying to promote the inclusion of snowboarding for people with a disability into the Paralympic Games,” said Mosher.
With the sport’s Paralympic debut nearly one year away, Mosher has been hard at work preparing for those Games and has been back to racing over the past few weeks.
Mosher, 40, fell on two of three runs during the Nor-Am race held at Sierra at Tahoe, Calif., on Jan. 28 and 29 and wound up 14th in the lower limb impairment class. He rebounded with a fourth-place showing at Colorado’s Copper Mountain last week, earning the top Canadian result on Feb. 3.
“I changed my strategy (at Copper) — rather than going for the fastest run every single time, I’m going to start taking a more conservative first run so I’m not putting myself in a high-pressure situation come the second and third runs,” said Mosher, as racers’ top two times out of three are added up for a final result.
Mosher, who was incompletely paralyzed from the waist down after a fall snowboarding in Whistler in 2000 and has since regained 60 per cent mobility in his legs, said he likes the way he’s been riding right now, leaving him encouraged ahead of the next race — a test event in Sochi that will take place later this month.
“I’ve never rode any stronger,” said the 2009 world champion. “I came fourth in Copper on a course that wasn’t suited to my ability, so I feel confident that … I can not only podium but come first in Sochi.”
After Sochi, Mosher’s race schedule will continue with events in Slovenia and at Kelowna’s Big White Resort.
Canadian teammate Ian Lockey finished second in the race at Tahoe, while Whistler’s Steve Harris also competed and placed seventh.
Bantams win banner
The Bantam C Whistler Winterhawks recently wrapped up a regular season title and are already marching through the postseason with a couple of big wins.
The team finished first in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s Lions Gate League with a record of 12-3-1. The next-closest team in the standings finished with just eight wins. Whistler averaged more than five goals per game in league play, and ended the campaign with a division-low 38 goals against.
The ‘Hawks were presented with the banner before their first playoff game, a 15-1 triumph over a North Vancouver opponent at Meadow Park Sports Centre on Saturday (Feb. 9). They returned to the ice Sunday (Feb. 10), hosted by a West Vancouver team, and emerged with a 3-2 victory to start the playoff round at 2-0.
The Winterhawks will look to improve to 3-0 on Saturday (Feb. 16) when they play West Vancouver C2 in Whistler.
The Bantam Winterhawks roster includes Alex Auger, Adam Bell, Kobe Burton, Scott Coughlin, Matt Davis, Zac Davis, Jared Fogolin, Gavin Hemmons, Liam Hemmons, Hugh Horler, Kolt Hoyle, Isabel Peters, Jonah Regan, Owen Reith, Tristan Sanders and Finn Withey.
Spencer close to season title
Pemberton’s Jenna Spencer had another podium finish on the Junior World Cup luge circuit, placing third on Friday (Feb. 8) at Igls, Austria to remain in top spot in the youth women’s division.
German sliders finished in the top two spots at Igls, with Spencer clocking in 0.371 seconds back of the winning time. She also represented Canada in the team relay at Igls, helping the squad to a fifth-place finish
Spencer had earned a fourth-place individual result behind a German podium sweep the previous weekend at Oberhof, Germany.
The 16-year-old’s Junior World Cup season will conclude on Friday (Feb. 15) at Winterberg, Germany, meaning she can win the overall youth women’s title with another strong performance in the series finale.