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Marble Mountain skiers fill out province’s alpine ski team for 2019 Canada Winter Games


Travelling long distances to carve up slopes throughout Atlantic Canada was a commitment budding alpine skiers in this province had to make if they wanted to find out where they stack up.

That commitment has paid off for a group of athletes who are speed demons with the Marble Mountain alpine ski racing team.

The full squad for the Newfoundland and Labrador alpine ski team bound for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Alberta — seven male and two female — have honed their racing skills for the local racing team.

The following is a look at the athletes who will wear Newfoundland and Labrador’s colours at the Games:

Name: Isaac Buckingham

Age: 13

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Andrea Reid/Peter Buckingham

Years skiing: 11

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

The biggest influence has been Steve May, who used to be the head coach at Marble. Steve was always the coach who got everyone up on their feet and onto the hill. He was a very positive coach who helped everyone be the best skier they could. Steve always had a great attitude both on and off the hill and I always liked being around him. He was a very skilled skier and coach, and I always felt like he truly knew his stuff. He always made skiing super fun and he motivated me to get out on the hill and become a better skier.

Name: Gerry Byrne

Age: 16

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Gerry Byrne and Denise Gibbons

Years skiing: 13

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

I have had two very important mentors who have influenced my development and who have helped raise my skills to the point of earning a spot. The first person is Michelle Leger, the technical director of Alpine New Brunswick and Atlantic representative for Alpine Canada. She recognized my strengths and weaknesses and encouraged me to keep training and keep competing after some early setbacks. She said I had raw talent that needed to be developed and said that a positive attitude can overcome any kind of challenge. I like to think I have proven her right. The second person is Pat Hickey, who has done more for developing young athletes like myself and keeping us all motivated and upbeat than anyone could ever possibly know.

Name: Ian Davis

Age: 14

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Sam and Cindy Davis

Years skiing: 11

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

Great ski schools and instructors at Marble Mountain at a young age has been the biggest influence and then getting race skills through Marble racing team coaches.

Name: Rachel Davis

Age: 16

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Sam and Cindy Davis

Years skiing: 14

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

Great ski schools and instructors at Marble Mountain at a young age has been the biggest influence and then getting race skills through Marble racing team coaches.

Name: Michael Flynn

Age: 14

Hometown: St. John’s

Parents: Mary and Ed Flynn

Years skiing: 12

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

My coaches (Ethan Murphy, Rob Payne and my dad Ed Flynn) who all pushed me to be out on the snow and in the gym, and took me on road trips for camps and races.

Name: Paige Hickey

Age: 16

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Pat Hickey and Barbara Ann Dunphy

Years skiing: 11

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

My father has been the biggest influence on my ski racing and my goal to attend the Canada Winter Games. For as long as I have been involved with ski racing my father has been there to encourage me to stay positive and give my best effort. He has always been there to help me with my training, my meal plans and my mental preparation. He has taken me to all the races in Atlantic Canada and in other parts of Canada. He has helped me learn how to tune my equipment and he has always been there to help me carry all of my equipment from place to place.

Name: Aidan Mercer

Age: 14

Hometown: Steady Brook

Parents: Brenda Duffy/Ed Mercer

Years skiing: 11

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

Katie Perry has been the biggest influence. She is an amazing skier and she was always helpful whenever I didn’t understand a drill or I needed help tuning my skis.

Name: Ryan Murphy

Age: 14

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Ethan and Angela Murphy

Years skiing: 11

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

My dad Ethan Murphy has been the biggest influence because he taught me how to ski.

Name: Andrew Payne

Age: 14

Hometown: Corner Brook

Parents: Robert and Denise Payne

Years skiing: 10

Who has been your biggest influence on your development as an alpine skier when it came to earning a spot on the Canada Games team?

Coach Ethan Murphy has been the biggest influence on my skiing development as he has coached me since I started skiing. Ethan has supported me both on and off the hill in training. My dad, Robert, who coaches, has also assisted in my development and has enabled me to travel to compete. I’m looking forward to getting back on the snow this season and traveling to the Canada Games.

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