Whistler para-alpine skiers on form at Sun Peaks

Thompson hopeful for World Champs qualification

The BC Adaptive Building Our Best (BOB) camp took place Jan. 15 - 18 at Sun Peaks Resort with a strong focus on developing upcoming ski racers and BC Para-Alpine Ski Team (BCPAST) members. Giant Slalom was the theme for the camp with two days of intensive training followed by a weekend of provincial-level racing.

Whistler sit-skiers Alex Cairns and Jeff Thompson were in attendance as part of their month-long training in interior B.C. After the two-day training camp, Cairns took first place on Saturday (Jan. 17) with a combined time of 1:29:56 after Thompson crashed and chalked up a DNF.

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“The bottom of the course was pretty flat and I ended up trying to be too tight and too perfect,” said Thompson. “I was looking for perfection. I got bounced straight into one of the gates.”

Thompson managed to redeem that performance on Sunday, edging past Cairns by just 0.36 seconds with a combined time of 1:25:56.

“It was fun; it was probably one of the best camps we’ve had,” said Cairns. “Everything was really organized and we saw a lot of new and old faces. It was fun to train (GS) for that long. Usually when you have a camp we’ll break it down to a couple of disciplines so it was good to maintain that focus.”

Cairns is better known in the Sea to Sky corridor for his aggressive freeskiing objectives, but has stepped up his race calendar for 2015 to help with his technical development with BCPAST coach John Newton.  

“In past years we’d only do a few camps a season, now the team is going a few days a week for the whole season,” said Cairns. “We have gates to train with all the time now. (Newton) is working on a timing system and he’s building a schedule with proper dryland training. I’ve only seen my freeskis a couple of days this year, but it’s paying off.”

Thompson is currently undergoing centralized training with the national para-alpine team in Kimberley, B.C. and is hopeful for a “wildcard” placement on the team for the upcoming IPC Para World Championships at Panorama March 2 - 11.

“It’s definitely the biggest step up in my career so far,” said Thompson. “When we went to Mount Hood earlier in August I had a good training camp and they suggested that it might be on the radar. I had a smoker of a lap at Panorama in November and I won the slalom to get second place in the Super Combined. After that they figured they’d bring me out and here I am.”

Near the end of the training stint, both Thompson and Cairns will be competing at the NorAm speed event at Kimberley, which will give them a “home track” advantage, providing there’s enough snow to open the full course.

For more information head to www.bcadaptive.com.

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