Melting pot of cultures at NorAm ski competition

About 100 up and coming, young skiers from around the world competed in the second stage of the NorAm Cup at Apex Mountain Resort this weekend.
Skiers tore up the mogul course at the mountain, catching two jumps before crossing the finish line in what they hoped would be a good enough time.
The skiers were scored on style, speed and the quality of their jumps.
Most of the competitors are from across Canada; participants came from the Alberta mogul team, the B.C. mogul team and the Quebec mogul team.
But the competition had an international flair and skiers say they not only learned more about skiing from their international counterparts, they got an international experience.
“[The other competitors] are really nice,” said Rintaro Nishikawa from Tokyo, Japan. “They answer my questions with smiles so I feel great.”
“We all mesh as one and we’re all untied by this one thing we do: mogul skiing,” said Brodie Summers, who came from Melbourne, Australia for the competition. “It’s just good vibes all around all the time.”
“It’s been awesome, like a little miniature World Cup,” laughed Leif Harfst, who hails from Yakima, Washington.
The athletes say the cultural exchange is good both on a personal and professional level.
“It’s a great starting point for people who are going to move up to the next level and get use to being around people from other countries,” said Jordan Cario from Kelowna.
Summers says the athletes congratulate one another after a good performance as well as give each other pointers.
But one skier says they exchange more than just ski tips.
“We have a Japanese guy staying with us so we learn some of the stuff he’s used to and interact with him,” said Connor Spence from Penticton. “But it’s not so much skiing tips but life things.”
However, that doesn’t mean the skiers are not serious about the competition.
Jeff Fairbairn, head coach of the B.C. freestyle mogul team, says that a good result at any of the four NorAm events means skiers can represent their country as part of their national team.
“Get a good result here and you can move up to the World Cup,” Fairbairn said.

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