High Volt­age

SkiTrax - - Contents - By Emily Nishikawa

by Emily Nishikawa

Ski Tour Canada was the event that con­cluded the 2015/2016 World Cup sea­son. In case you missed it, it was eight races in 12 days in four cities across Canada in a tour for­mat. This event was by far the high­light of my sea­son!

The Tour was an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for de­vel­op­ment skiers from across North Amer­ica. Canada and the U.S. were able to start many more skiers than the typ­i­cal World Cup quota. This re­sulted in a to­tal team size of 26 ath­letes from Canada. It was so ex­cit­ing to watch many of my team­mates start their first World Cups and have break­through per­for­mances here on home soil. This was also an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for the next gen­er­a­tion of rac­ers to see a World Cup in per­son. It is not the same as watch­ing on TV!

As a racer, this was the event I looked for­ward to all sea­son. I was thrilled to be part of such a great team of Cana­dian skiers. The Eastern venues were all very unique and show­cased some of Canada's most beau­ti­ful cities. Can­more, Alta. put on a show with its world-class trails and some amaz­ing spring weather as well! The best part for me was see­ing so many North Amer­i­can fans lin­ing the trails to cheer. I could hear so many peo­ple call­ing my name, and that en­ergy re­ally car­ried me along. It was ex­cit­ing to see so many young Cana­dian fans out watch­ing and cheer­ing on their heros and be­ing in­spired. Each day, I would give my race bib to a young fan af­ter the race, and it was in­spir­ing for me to see how many young peo­ple are get­ting ex­cited about our sport.

I re­mem­ber watch­ing the World Cup races in 2005 at Sov­er­eign Lake, B.C. and think­ing that some­day I'd like to be there. I know count­less oth­ers who had that same ex­pe­ri­ence this year at the Ski Tour Canada, and I find that in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing.

Another perk of rac­ing at home was hav­ing my fam­ily there. My younger brother lives in Mon­treal, and he was able to watch the sec­ond stage. My par­ents came from White­horse to watch the Can­more stages, and my older brother and sis­ter-in-law were able to make it to the last stage. It was so spe­cial hav­ing fam­ily and friends out cheer­ing me on ev­ery day of the en­tire Tour.

I was re­ally proud to fin­ish the Tour. It is a very gru­el­ing sched- ule with many races so close to­gether and a lot of travel in be­tween each stage. I was able to re­main healthy through­out the en­tire event. We had an amaz­ing sup­port team of coaches, wax techs, mas­sage ther­a­pists and staff all work­ing tire­lessly to make sure we had ev­ery­thing we needed to suc­ceed. It was an hon­our to be a part of such a hard-work­ing team.

Thank you to ev­ery­one who made this event pos­si­ble and such a suc­cess. I feel so grate­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to race the Ski Tour Canada. I re­ally hope to get another chance to race on home soil be­cause it is just so much fun!

(above) Emily Nishikawa with young fan Clara al­ready look­ing like a pro.

(right) Nishikawa was ex­cited to race on home snow at Ski Tour Canada with fans and fam­ily cheer­ing her on.

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