Caoimhe Heavey of Fernie has recently had the chance to represent Canada and her hometown on the ski world stage in Europe.
Heavey, 17, whose parents own Beanpod Chocolate on 2nd Avenue, was hitting the slopes in Leysin, Switzerland, between March 7 and 13, for the 2022 International Ski Federation (FIS) Park and Pipe Junior World Championships with 18 other competitors.
“It was a great learning experience. It was an honour to represent Canada and my team,” Heavey said.
Heavey, who is on the BC Park and Pipe team, showed her Fernie-grown skills in the big air and slopestyle categories.
They started off with big air, which she said was about a 55-foot jump.
“I was able to put down my biggest trick there, which is a Cork 9 Blunt.”
Heavey qualified first with that trick, but said the final didn’t go quite the way she was hoping.
“But I was still able to get a score and finish 5th.”
For slopestyle, which was three jumps and three rails, she said she “had a couple of bobbles,” and “didn’t end up putting down the clean one” she wanted.
“But I was still able to get a good score, and I finished 11th.”
She said she wouldn’t have been able to make it to Switzerland without her coach Mike Apps, the help of Jay Carter from The Guide’s Hut, and Paul Attalla from Fernie Chiropractic.
She said she was “super stoked to be able to be representing Fernie.”
Though it was her first time competing overseas, Heavey is no stranger to competition. She has hit slopes across North America in 11 Nor-Am Cups, according to her profile on the FIS website.
In February, she came in first place in a ‘Freeski Big Air’ Nor-Am competition in Calgary.
Heavey started skiing when she was two years old and began freestyling when she was eight. Recently, she judged the BC Champs Super Youth event in Whistler, where the competitors were U8 to U14.
Being able to watch all the young kids and look back at what she used to be like was a “great experience,” she said.
“It’s been a long road, and it’s been a good journey.”
“That’s the thing I love about freestyle. There’s always something new to learn.”
“I’m happy with how far I’ve come, but I know I got a lot further to go.”
And, for the young ones just starting out, she had these words of advice: “Just focus on yourself and have some fun.”
“Go out with friends, work on whatever you want to work on. And just have a good time. Because that’s what skiing is really about.”