By Chad Ouellette
Alpine skier Gill Hamilton has practically lived her life on skis. She started skiing at the age of two, with the help of her parents, and only four years later she began racing. What started as something solely recreational began to dominate her life and Hamilton hasn’t looked back.
So far through the Ontario Cup season, Hamilton has placed 1st in the Under 16 division in one slalom event and 6th in a giant slalom event.
Hamilton says she expects the Winter Games to be similar to last year’s national championships, which she competed in.
“I’m assuming it’s going to pretty similar competition wise but I’ve never been to the Canada Winter Games so I don’t know what the atmosphere will be like in that aspect,” Hamilton said.
The one major difference between then and now is that she’s the only athlete representing Ottawa in her sport. Only seven racers qualified for Ontario’s team, none of whom she knows personally.
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“Last year I was the youngest in my age division,” she says. “I had a lot of friends who were older then me who also qualified. I had three other friends who qualified for nationals with me, so I was able to room with them and be with them and everything.”
The 16-year-old, who spends Thursday to Sunday each week after different hills in the Ottawa area, hopes her dedication to the sport pays off with a future on the hill.
“(I want to) hopefully get a ski scholarship and ski somewhere in the states,” she said. “That’s kind of what I would love to do.”
–With files from Charlie Pinkerton