ASXT Athlete Journal: Ryan Webster
Hello there! I am Ryan Webster and I will be giving you an overview of the last month as an Alberta Ski Cross athlete. This is my third year on the Alberta Ski Cross Team, and I have made some major strides towards my goal of making the national team in the last few months.
Coming back well rested from the Christmas break we had some days at the Nakiska ski cross training center. This center gives opportunities to race head-to-head working on technical and tactical skills in a track. This center gives us a consistent training venue to prepare for the heavy race schedule ahead. I had a huge milestone in January starting my first world cup in ski cross. It is something I have always wanted, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to ski up to the next level. The course was challenging but I had a lot of fun rising to the calibre needed to ski a World Cup track. It was tough conditions but in ski racing, we must adapt to different types of snow and weather. I placed 51st and 53rd but I learned a lot and I know I can improve on those results in the future.
Following the World Cup, we raced a North American Cup on the same track. It was a lot of fun to race with a larger field and I placed 11th and 13th. After the Nor ‘am in Nakiska, we had a week off to prepare before the team left for a 64-day trip starting in Calabogie, Ontario. It was a bitterly cold -30 our first training day but again we must adapt to the conditions we are given. After a tough first race, I reset and won the second race. We packed up and spent a day in Toronto and then headed to Munich which kicked off the next part of our trip. We will be spending almost two months travelling across Europe to ski the back half of the Europa Cup circuit chasing criteria to make the National Team. Our first race was in Grashgern Germany, there were 75 men in the field which is the largest field I have competed in ski cross thus far. I placed 52nd in both qualifications. Unfortunately missing out on heats however I cheered my teammate Alexa on and was able to watch my European competitor’s race. It is always important in ski cross to know your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, especially in heats.
Looking forward we have three more Europa Cup races in Riteralm, Bardonecchia, and Les Contamines, with three more FIS races in Collere, Allgehe, and San Pellegrino. I am so excited to be back to racing after taking a year off competition due to COVID. My goal is to make finals, top 8, in the Europa cups and gain more experience in the FIS races. I want to make the most of this season, ski hard, and have fun. I am confident I can generate results and show the advances I have made in my skiing and in the gym. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and with the support of my team and coaches, I know that I can be successful.