Three members of the Jasper Freeride club have been invited to join the provincial freestyle ski team and, so far, two have accepted.
Brad Anselmo and Jaymes Schmidt of Jasper will join the Alberta team while Melissa Hiron of Edmonton is still considering the option.
“Brad and Jaymes got a spot because they had a really good season,” said Freeride head coach Nic Bazin. “Both of them impressed both the provincial and national team.”
As for Hiron, Bazin said “she’s still thinking about it.”
“It’s a really big commitment for people from Edmonton to drive every weekend,” he said.
Anselmo and Schmidt both had excellent moguls seasons, together finishing first and second in their category in several Alberta events. The pair also qualified for the Freestyle Skiing Junior Nationals, held in Quebec in March, along with Hiron and two other Freeride members: Cameron Brown and Alison Brown.
Anselmo said the decision to move from the Freeride club to the Alberta team was a difficult one, as Bazin was “one of the most amazing coaches I had.”
But, he added: “I knew I needed to take the next step if I wanted to progress further in the sport.”
Anselmo was on his way to Whistler this week for a three-week training camp.
“I’m really excited about joining the team and now have a very structured and long-term program I will be following,” he said.
Schmidt travelled to the Whistler camp directly from Seattle, Wash., where he was on a school-related trip, and wasn’t available to comment by press time.
Bazin was thrilled to see Freeride members progress to the next level of competitive freestyle skiing and said it’s helpful for younger club members to witness that success.
“Just to see that, if you put the hard work in, if you organize your schedule, if you commit properly to the training and all the nutrition that the coaches are asking, there’s a reward at the end,” he said.
Freeride members practised their skills on a “Bag Jump” at Marmot Basin April 21-22, allowing the skiers to attempt more difficult spins and flips while landing safely on the giant, inflated bag.
After a brief spring break as the ski season comes to an end, Bazin said the Freeride team will then begin dryland training. He also plans to take some members to do water-ramp training at various locations in Alberta and B.C. between June and September, in addition to a couple of weeks of glacier skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb.
“The older they are, the more intensive the program will be,” he said.