Friday, February 25, 2011

Quincy Tastes Gold at Canadian Winter Games

Wow, the success keeps coming for this year's Elite Crew. The latest to stand atop a podium is Quincy Korte-King. Quincy has been on tour with the Canadian Team north of the border, hitting a long series of events. She peaked at her final venue, winning Womens Halfpipe at the Canadian Winter Games. Doing so she joins SMS graduate and Canadian Team Rider Alex Duckworth as winners of this event. Great company if I say so myself. Quincy is back with the SMS Team next week for the Grand Prix in Mammoth CA.

Below is the text from the, who reported on Quincy

Nova Scotia may not offer the most exciting mountains in the world for a snowboarder to go, but for Rockcliffe’s Quincy Korte-King, the latest stop in a young career that is poised to take her big places is a special one nonetheless.

That’s because the 15-year-old former Ashbury College student will be participating in a competition that is a little different than the rest when she tackles the halfpipe at the Canada Winter Games on Thursday, Feb. 24 in Windsor, NS.

“From my point of view, it’s like a mini national Olympics,” says Korte-King, who was expecting it would be “really cool” to be part of Team Ontario in a multi-sport environment. “Obviously I want to ride as well as I can and I would love to land on top of the podium. I’ve been having trouble with consistency in competition this season, but I guess that’s my goal.”

The daughter of a national development team alpine skier, Korte-King was on skis since age two until her prized snowboard arrived under the Christmas tree three years later. As she got older, Korte-King started going to bigger hills in the area, starting at Camp Fortune, then moving to Mont Ste. Marie, followed by Mont Tremblant.

Korte-King fared well in regional contests, but an eye-opening experience set her on a new course when she attended a U.S. Open competition.

“It was just so crazy,” Korte-King recounts. “They all had personal coaches there.”

So she started visiting a coach in Vermont every couple weekends who also worked at Stratton Mountain School – a specialized ski and snowboard academy that has produced over 30 Olympic snow sport athletes.

Occasionally, Korte-King would beat riders from Stratton, but often she wouldn’t.

“They had such an advantage,” the former swimmer, volleyball player and gymnast recalls. “They’re riding every day and the coaching there is so great.”

So, this past fall, Korte-King enrolled at Stratton Mountain School, where she’s on the slopes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then in class after lunch until past 5 p.m.

“I’ve been having such a good time,” notes Korte-King, who believes moving away from Ottawa was a necessity to continue progressing in snowboarding. “In Ottawa, there aren’t that many girls competing. Having gone down there, there’s a whole group of us that push each other every day.”

Team Ontario snowboard cross coach Cassandra Smith of Ottawa acknowledges a forced move is the reality for most elite area snowboarders, although the Merivale High School grad who recently returned from Alberta is trying to put together a viable program for young local snowboarders through her new Akademy team.

Still building in its first year, Akademy wouldn’t be a major help to Korte-King at the moment – especially without a halfpipe in the region – but it’s Smith’s hope that down the road snowboarders will have the possibility to seriously develop their talents locally.

“There are some athletes to have come out of here in snowboarding in the past, but it really hits that point where they leave high school and have to go west to pursue that passion,” explains Smith, who was impressed to hear that Korte-King recently competed in her first World Cup competition at Stoneham, Que. “It definitely shows that she’s quite talented because they’re not just going to let anybody go.”

Nerves of steel

Whether it’s a World Cup or a Canada Winter Games, Korte-King says she never feels nervous.

“I always just tell myself, ‘I have nothing to prove at this competition,’” explains Korte-King, who’s almost always one of the youngest entrants. “I want to put pressure on myself so that I ride better, but I try not to worry about it that much and I tell myself that I have all the time in the world.

“I don’t need to be worrying about this, I just want people to notice me, and do what I came here to do, which is snowboard my best.”

Down the road, Korte-King would like to get invited to an X Games, or make an Olympics team, but she feels thankful for the chances she’s already received through snowboarding.

“I’m really lucky to have parents that support me so I can actually get this far in my sport, and to have coaches and people to ride with that push me this much,” Korte-King says. “A lot of the people I know have talent, but they might not have the resources, or their parents don’t want to send them to school for sports.

“I’m really lucky to have had all these opportunities.”

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