AST Athlete Journal: Aidan Kometz

Hey Everyone!

If you don’t know me, my name is Aidan Kometz and this is my first year on the Alberta Ski Team. I am entering my third year racing FIS, the first two I spent with NATC. I have grown up my whole life racing at/for Nakiska, starting when I was just 4 years old. I have so many amazing memories from my time at NASA; my first real races in U12 and U14, the freeski days with all my friends, and seeing all my friends compete and succeed. I gained a love for racing at Nakiska which makes it so cool we had some of our home preseason training there. It makes me really excited that I am on the Alberta Team with some of my prior teammates, and that so many are on the road to joining us too.

So far this year we have been very busy. We already had two challenging preseason camps in Europe that gave us a variety of training. I enjoyed our first camp in Saas-Fee because we got volume training in the mornings, had delicious meals, and got to do all sorts of activities like soccer, volleyball, mini golf, and spikeball. Saas Fee was also the first real-time we got to be a team, getting closer with the development team athletes as well. It is so great to have Gered and Caleb as veterans on the team because they can always help me out whenever I need it. After Saas Fee, we had a couple of weeks off of snow for dryland and preparation for our second camp in Hintertux/Belgium. This glacier presented much harder conditions with very bumpy ice, blizzards, snow, and exposed rocks.

However, this training was made much easier with our coaches helping by cycling our skis, slipping, and encouraging us. This type of training is also beneficial for us because it gives us experience with harder, more serious conditions. For example, the World Cup at Tremblant this weekend had very low visibility and warmer weather which is similar to conditions we trained in Hintertux or Saas. I also got the chance to train with some of the Canadian team men and other World Cup athletes which was motivating and an amazing comparison. After two weeks at Hintertux, we headed to Belgium to ski indoors (what?!?!) which is something I didn’t think I would ever get to do. I was also excited because I had never been to Belgium before. The indoor skiing was a whole new experience with extremely slick ice which forced my skiing to change for the better. I loved getting two sessions separated by a break for lunch and tuning because we got to review videos of us skiing so we could make changes quickly. This is where my slalom really started to get better. The only annoying part would be the bruises from the slalom gates ricocheting off the ice, but they healed fast.

We came back home and after a short resting period began our home preseason training at Nakiska and Panorama. All our new awesome Karbon jackets, pants, and suits had just come in so we got to train in warmth and style. GMC’s trucks also made it easy for our daily trips out to the hill with all our equipment. My favourite part of our home snow training was the days we trained Super G and Downhill, getting top speeds of 130 km/hr. We also spent a week at Panorama training with the other provincial teams which was intimidating at first. I made lots of progress with my speed and GS skiing there.

We have now officially moved into the racing season! Caleb took on the Slalom race at Norquay, doing well and demonstrating his skiing has already improved so much compared to last year. Gered and I are at Copper Mountain, Colorado preparing for the first NORAM Downhill and Super G of the year. I can’t wait to see what this season holds!

UPDATE: My first NORAM went great! I loved stepping into this new level of competition with elite and national team athletes. Our team did awesome, especially Zoe showing all of us she can lay down some downhill runs. I had a personal best myself moving from bib 55 to 24, evening getting to score my first NORAM points!

I would like to thank our sponsors Sporting Life, GMC, and Karbon for helping us chase our ambition.