Squamish's Ty Reichert, 13, is excited to be heading to his first BC Winter Games at the end of this month.
Of course, he hopes to be standing on a podium at the games, which are being held in Vernon from March 23 to 26, but he is looking forward to the overall experience, too.
"I'm hoping to have a fun experience — enjoy the competition and travelling," he said, adding he will take a team bus to the event, which he is looking forward to. "I want to win — that is a big goal or maybe podium. And have a lot of fun."
The games are expected to attract up to 1,800 participants in 17 sport competitions, as they return after being cancelled in 2022, due to the pandemic and other factors.
Reichert is competing for Freestyle Whistler on the U14 team. Other Squamish youth on the team are Zoe Henderson and Elijah Krumme.
They will be competing in moguls, big air, and slopestyle at SilverStar Mountain Resort, where the games' skiing events are to be held.
While Reichert has not previously skied at the resort, he has ridden its biking trails doing his summer sport — mountain biking. (He also plays soccer.)
His favourite freestyle event is slopestyle, he said, because he gets to be creative.
“There's jumps and rails. There could be two rails and then a jump, and then more rails, and then a few other jumps. And you can just pick your line through to the bottom.”
He was two years old the first time he was on skis, he said, though noting he doesn't remember that, but has seen the video recordings of it.
He lost his first tooth on a ski hill, too.
When asked what he loves about his sport, he said it is seeing what is possible.
"My goal is to progress the sport farther — kind of see what's possible," he said. "I want to do tricks no one has done. Because with skiing, you can be really creative."
While the winter games are his next goal, soon after, he will be heading back to SilverStar in early April to compete in the Timber Tour, where young athletes compete in mogul and slopestyle freestyle skiing events.
For more on the BC Games, visit its website.
For more on Freestyle Whistler, go to: freestylewhistler.com.
**Please note this story was corrected after it was posted to clarify that there are two other Squamish youth who are on the team: Zoe Henderson and Elijah Krumme. Originally, we stated that Reichert was the only local on the U14 team. We apologize for this error.