Whistler Blackcomb not only attracts the best athletes in the world, more and more the world is seeing athletes born and bred in this small town going for gold and taking it all. Whistler Blackcomb's natural assets, manmade terrain and events provide the best training ground on earth for athletes who want to dominate in any gravity-fuelled sport worth practicing.
Gold Medal Coaching
Momentum Ski Camps is one of ten ski/snowboard camps currently operating on Horstman Glacier. This camp celebrated their 20th Anniversary in 2011 and now the progression has come full circle with former campers who have conquered on the world's stage returning to coach the next generation of skiers.
Former campers now coaching freestyle skiing at Momentum include Olympic Gold medalist Alex Bilodeau, two-time World Championship medalist Mikhael Kingsbury and Olympians Tami Bradley and Shelley Robertson.
Momentum's freeride coaches almost make up the entire Canadian National Halfpipe Team – National Team Coach Trennon Paynter, World Champions Mike Riddle and Roz Groenewoud, and multiple X-Game Champion Sarah Burke. With Halfpipe and Slopestyle skiing now the newest Olympic disciplines, Momentum is poised to help inspire the next generation of champions.
Growing Up Whistler
What happens when you grow up with North America's top ranked ski resort in the winter, and arguably the world's best mountain bike park in the summer, on your doorstep? You grow up to be a world-class athlete, naturally.
Case in point – Ashleigh McIvor, first-ever gold medalist in the sport of Ski Cross at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Ashleigh first hit the snow at age two and spent her early competitive years as an alpine ski racer. Eventually, Whistler Blackcomb's siren song of fresh powder, slaying big lines and launching off cliffs stole her heart and she left the race circuit. Ashleigh's big mountain skills and fearless style combined with her technical racing experience led her to discover the sport of Ski Cross in 2003. Ashleigh began competing in events like the US Freeskiing Open, X-Games and the World Cup circuit, eventually leading her to the Games, on home soil, where she dominated to take the gold!
Over on the summer side, local slopestyle mountain biker Brandon Semenuk was crowned the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Champion 2011 after accumulating the most points in the competition season, including winning the inaugural Red Bull Joyride event at Kokanee Crankworx.
Terrain Parks Become Training Grounds For Elite Athletes
This winter the terrain parks at Whistler Blackcomb will be the training grounds for six medalling events at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi; Ski Cross, Snowboard Cross, Ski Halfpipe, Snowboard Halfpipe, Ski Slopestyle and Snowboard Slopestyle.
A renewed Snow Cross Track on Blackcomb offers training and organized competitive event opportunities through Whistler Blackcomb's event department. The 22-foot Olympic Size Half Pipe on Blackcomb Mountain is groomed daily and will be ready for the next pipe slayer while a 14-foot half pipe on Blackcomb sets the stage for skiers and riders looking to progress into the 22-foot feature. Finally, on the right side of the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb a full slopestyle course with X-Games sized features will emulate the flow of an actual Olympic Slopestyle course: rail, rail, rail, jump, jump, jump, jump. While the flow order will remain the same, the terrain park rangers will continuously change up the style of features to create dynamic training opportunities.