Lake Country freestyle skier Tyson Oland served notice he is among the top freestyle skiers of his age category in all of Canada, throwing down some huge tricks and winning a gold medal at a national freestyle event in Quebec.
Oland, 17, along with some other B.C. athletes competed earlier this month in the Junior National Freestyle Ski Championships held just outside Quebec City, at Centre De Ski Le Relais.
Oland won the gold medal in the big air competition by throwing down two almost perfect tricks.
Called a double cork 1260 with a mute grab, Oland nailed the tricks to grab the gold medal. He also finished in sixth place in the slope style ski event.
Oland skis for the BC Provincial Freestyle Park and Pipe B Team coached by Jeremy Cooper of Vernon. The nine team members from around B.C. were all selected for the National Event and also competed in the Canadian Open Freestyle Ski event, near Barrie, Ontario the previous weekend.
A couple of other local freestyle athletes also performed well. West Kelowna’s Mason Barzilay placed second in the big air competition for females 14 to 16 years old. She was also ninth in the moguls competition.
Kelowna’s Jordan Cairo was third in the moguls 3 competition.
As for Oland his goal is to be a professional freestyle skier and ski in the Winter X-Games, Dew Tour and eventually the Olympics. He is also hoping he can be featured in freestyle ski films as a professional. He is now sponsored by Ninthward Skis.
The BC Team sponsors are: Moment, Swany, Booster Juice and Safe Start.
The BC Freestyle Park and Pipe team will be competing this weekend, March 24 and 25 at Silver Star in the Canadian Open Series tour for Slope Style.
Slope style and half pipe ski events will be included in the 2014 Olympic game in Sochi, Russia. The slope style ski competition is growing rapidly and is expected to be one of the premier spectator event for future winter Olympics.
Slope style consists of a series of three to four large jumps, along with a number of rails on which the skiers perform a variety of spins and flips. Half pipe has traditionally been a snowboard event, but has become very popular for skiers.