By Victoria Klassen
As Nick McDermid, 15, flew down the mogul course at Calabogie Peaks, his complete focus was on sticking his jumps and finishing with a fast-enough time.
He blocked out the cheering crowd around him, landed a front flip, followed by a back-flip iron cross of his next launch before speeding through the moguls to the bottom of the course.
As a Calabogie Freestyle athlete, McDermid’s talents were on display in front of family, teammates and his club at the 2020 Canada Cup at Calabogie Peaks. The January event was Calabogie Peaks’ second time hosting a Canada Cup event in the last three years.
“It was super cool to see a big competition like that at such a small hill. Being able to compete at my home hill is an experience I’ll always remember,” McDermid expressed.
The Canada Cup Series is Freestyle Canada’s national competition circuit that travels across Cana-da and has four disciplines: moguls, slopestyle, halfpipe and aerials.
Calabogie Peaks hosted the first moguls and dual moguls Canada Cup competition of the season. Provincial team athletes at-tend Canada Cup competitions, as well as club-level athletes like McDermid who have high-rankings within their province.
In the moguls competition, skiers are judged on their time, their jumps and their technical skiing skills.
Calabogie skiers had a difficult time against some of the best competitors of their age group, with McDermid’s 51st place finish during the qualification run for the men’s dual moguls as the top placing by a Calabogie Peaks athlete.
While McDermid has been skiing with Calabogie Freestyle for the past five years, he first strapped on a pair of skis at two years old. The Grade 10 Glebe Collegiate Institute student spends his off-snow time mountain biking, rowing, playing rugby, trampoline training and going to the gym.
Along with McDermid, there were five other local athletes competing: Jake Jarvis, Aaron Turnau and Drew Hansen from Calabogie Freestyle, and Quinn Ladouceur and Noah Harley from Fortune Freestyle.
Fifteen-year-old Drew Hansen has also been skiing with Calabogie Freestyle for five years. The Renfrew native said he was happy that his friends and family were able to watch him compete in his first Canada Cup.
“Competing in the Canada Cup was a really cool experience. It was my first time, but hopefully the first of many,” said Hansen.
Hansen’s best run, with a back tuck on the top jump, and a flat three Japan on the bottom jump, landed him in 57th place in men’s single moguls on the first day of the event. His placing in the men’s single moguls was the best of any Ottawa skier.
“Calabogie Freestyle is very proud of our four athletes who competed in the Canada Cup.
It was their first time competing in such a high-level event. They gained a lot from the experience and it will certainly help them with their season ahead,” said Myles Adam, head coach of Calabogie Free-style.
There is one Canada Cup Series event remaining for moguls and dual moguls athletes this season. It will take place in Red Deer, Alta. from March 21-22. The Canadian Championships for the dis-ciplines takes place in Apex, B.C. the next weekend.