Team FAST at the Whistler Cup. Submitted

Fernie Alpine Ski Team puts best boot forward at Whistler Cup

Fernie skiers compete at 27th Whistler Cup, held at Whistler-Blackcomb from April 11-14

The Fernie Alpine Ski Team returned from the Whistler Cup with heads held high, after competing against athletes from around the world.

With practice runs starting at 5 a.m., each junior athlete got a taste of what touring on a pro circuit would be like.

Fernie’s Joy and Amy Attalla of FAST were among the athletes to compete, and each competed in their respective categories. The competition drew in the top three girls and boys available from each club. Entries from FAST included Joy and Amy, as well as Calgary athletes Anna Fleming, Carter Smith, Emmett Koles, and Blair Magee. The team was led by coach Evan Gibson.

Categories included Slalom, Giant Slalom (GS) and Dual Slalom.

The girls competed in Slalom and GS, both in the U14 category. Joy finished in the top 30 taking 29th place in the GS competition, but was unable to finish the Slalom race. In the GS, Amy came 79th and 32nd in Slalom. Flemming finished 80th in GS and 53rd in Slalom.

Smith finished 50th, Koles finished 31st, and Magee finished 73rd in the GS competition.

Dual Slalom was another beast entirely; athletes were paired up with a random team from a different club. One-hundred-forty athletes made up 23 teams.

Joy, Amy and Flemming were paired up with three athletes from Craigleith, Ontario, and finished in a respectable fourth place. They were outmatched by athletes from New Zealand, Quebec, France and Slovakia, as well as the U.S.

Smith, Koles and Magee were paired up with three other athletes from Rossland, and placed second in the Dual Slalom after a photo finish win against the national American team. Coach Gibson said this was a great achievement. Joy explained that the competition was a great experience.

“It was really cool getting to see a bunch of people from other countries and getting to race all of them,” said Joy. “We’ve only ever raced in our zone, and that’s our group. So it was cool to be in a group with them.”

“The Kootenays are so small in comparison to New Zealand, it was so cool to see everyone else racing and how good people from New Zealand are,” added Amy.

This served as the final competition of the season for FAST. They will now start preparing for summer training camps.

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