The Beijing 2022 Olympics are two weeks away, and Team Canada has released their nominations for the alpine skiing team, as well as ski cross. Amongst those athletes are three Columbia Valley locals who grew up training at Panorama Mountain Resort.
Today’s announcement, which in total had 21 athletes named (13 alpine skiers, eight ski cross racers), name three from the Columbia Valley.
Courtney Hoffos, Cassidy Gray and Amelia Smart all call the valley home, hailing from Windermere, Panorama, and Invermere respectively. All three grew up racing and training at Panorama Mountain Resort.
Each will be making their Olympic debut, but they aren’t strangers to international competition.
Joining Canadian women’s ski cross team known for its immense depth, Hoffos switched to ski cross at 17 after a decade of alpine racing. She was voted rookie of the year in her breakthrough 2019/20 season. Her 2021 World Cup ranking was sixth globally.
While this is still Smart’s Olympic debut, she competed in the 2016 youth Olympics in Slalom. Named the NCAA’s Women’s Alpine skier of the year in 2018, Smart went on to place first in the 2019 Nor-Am Cups at Stowe and Snow King. The following season on home soil in Nakiska, she topped the Nor-Am podium again.
Rounding out the list is the youngest member of the Canadian alpine team, Cassidy Gray. Primarily competing in Giant Slalom, in her debut season Gray claimed her first World Cup points in her second World Cup event ever. After achieving another top-30 result, Gray was ranked 52nd in the World Cup GS standings as a first-year skier. For her 2021/22 season Gray wears an illustrated helmet representing the Columbia Valley, hand drawn and designed by Trinda Cote a member of the Shuswap band.