She was born to ski

Wool­wich skier wins U14 provin­cials, joined Team On­tario

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

WHAT DOES IT TAKE to ex­cel at a sport? Not just do well, but re­ally reach the top? For 14-year-old Wool­wich res­i­dent Abby By­ers, it’s noth­ing short of a tre­men­dous amount of fo­cus and dis­ci­pline.

The young ath­lete ap­proaches her pas­sion in alpine ski­ing with a sharp de­ter­mi­na­tion that this year saw her come first in the gi­ant slalom at the U14 provin­cials.

But for By­ers, win­ning at the pro­vin­cial level was just one more step in her climb to the top. Her mother re­calls how, right from the get-go, By­ers was aim­ing for the top: Team On­tario.

“She said to me, ‘I think I’m go­ing to make the CanAm team.’ She says, ‘I’m go­ing to qual­ify for Team On­tario this year,’” re­calls Shan­non By­ers. And young Abby did just that.

By­ers was one of 15 girls to join the U14 Team On­tario this year and go to the Can-Am games at Su­gar­loaf, Maine. Un­for­tu­nately, dur­ing her race, By­ers fell; but de­spite the set­back, she re­mained pos­i­tive.

“We still have Whistler Cup,” she said. Out of 140 girls at Whistler, By­ers ranked 7th in slalom, 9th in the dual slalom.

“I fell in GS (gi­ant slalom), but I still came 21st,” she said.

“She fell, and you could see the snow go­ing and I’m like, ‘oh no!’” re­calls her mother. “But she popped her­self back up and she fin­ished the race.” That qual­i­fied By­ers for the sec­ond run.

“It’s so fun,” she said with a laugh. For her, though, even join­ing Team On­tario and rep­re­sent­ing the province is but one more step in her jour­ney. Ide­ally, says By­ers, the Olympics is where she would like to see her­self. And with her in­cred­i­ble work ethic, she re­ally might make it.

A fu­ture ski­ing Olympian, By­ers might very well be, but the young ath­lete will to see how far she re­ally wants to go to reach that goal.

“I think Abby’s got some tough choices to make when she gets older be­cause she loves ski­ing, but she’s just such a track and field ath­lete too,” said her mother. “I re­mem­ber when Abby was about 8 years old, it was funny be­cause she grew up ski­ing in Chicopee ... and they had said, why doesn’t Abby come out and do dry-land train­ing in the fall, and she was by far one of the youngest kids.”

Shan­non was wor­ried, so she asked her daugh­ter if she was sure she sure she wanted to go. “And she looked and she goes, ‘Mum, I was born to ski.’”


Abby By­ers made the U14 Team On­tario this year and game first place at the provin­cials in the gi­ant slalom.

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