A total of 251 athletes from around B.C. will represent the province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer later this month.
One of those athletes is Fernie’s Caoimhe Heavey.
Fernie’s Montana Molyneux is one of 46 B.C. coaches heading to the winter games and will be coaching Alpine Skiing.
Heavey will be competing in three different categories; Slopestyle, Half Pipe and Big Air. At the age of 14, she will be one of the youngest athletes at the Games, competing against seasoned athletes, some six years her senior.
The Slopestyle and Big Air competitions take place in Red Deer, while the Half Pipe will be held in Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Opening ceremonies take place on February 15. Heavey’s competitions take place on February 20, 21 and 22.
“It felt pretty good,” said Heavey, when asked how it felt to qualify. “I just want to go and put down the best run that I can, have some fun, meet some new people.
“I’m really excited to go because it’s such a huge thing and there’s going to be so many sports there, so I’m really excited to see some other sports as well.”
So far this season Heavey has competed in three competitions, two of which qualified her for the Winter Games. She started off in the Yukon for early season training and her first competition of the year, where she placed ninth in Big Air, and eighth in Slopestyle.
Although this wasn’t her best competition result, Heavey says it set a standard for where she needed to be. She was then off to Whistler, where she began to train with the Whistler Freestyle Club.
Three weeks ago, Heavey took on her second competition of the year, a B.C. Timber Tours competition at Big White. In this competition she placed first, followed by a fourth place finish at a Canadian Open Tour event in Silver Star a week later.
Heavey says the past year has been productive and she feels as though she has advanced her game significantly.
“Fortunately, this year I’m injury free, so that’s a really good start,” she said.
About one year ago, Heavey suffered a broken wrist after landing hard off a jump. Now that the road to recovery is complete, she says she’s feeling comfortable and ready to push herself to be better.
“Canada Games is the experience of a lifetime. It will probably be the biggest event these athletes have been to at this point. They have a lot of people they are representing back home but I just advise them to enjoy the experience, go out there and do their best,” said Justin Kripps, Olympian and Team BC Honourary Captain.
The Canada Games are a national multi-sport competition with participation from every province and territory in Canada. The Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games will be held February 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, bringing together approximately 3600 athletes, coaches, and managers from every province and territory to compete in 19 sports.
At the 2015 Games in Prince George, B.C. finished third behind Quebec (141 medals) and Ontario (111 medals) with 88 medals – 21 gold, 34 silver, and 33 bronze.