TRURO, N.S. – A 13-year-old from Bible Hill is one of Team Nova Scotia’s youngest members at the Canada Winter Games.
Lily Oakley first hit the slopes when she was just four and ever since, Ski Wentworth has become something of a second home, preparing her for the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
“I love skiing, because it makes me feel happy to be outside all day and doing a sport that involves so much nature,” said Oakley. “I like to be active and see new places. I think in skiing you get a chance to see a lot of new hills.”
Oakley flies to Red Deer Feb. 23, just before the alpine ski races begin, to join her Nova Scotia teammates.
“I’ve been working really hard and it’s a great opportunity,” said Oakley.
While she started skiing early, Oakley only began specializing in alpine when she was nine and practises every weekend at Ski Wentworth during the winter.
She has put up some impressive speeds racing downhill on the local slopes, clocked at 71 km/h by one of her coaches.
“I have to admit it was a little scary,” said Oakley. “It takes a while to get used to it, but my coach said that once you do, you learn to love those butterflies in your stomach.”
However, alpine skiing is much more than simply speed, as a successful race depends on many factors, right down to basics such as eating a good breakfast in the morning, as well as proper training, conditioning and mindset.
Other sports help Oakley succeed at skiing, including volleyball and dancing, providing a chance to improve her balancing skills.
Oakley has tried her hand at cliff-jumping and river rafting while camping at Mount Hood in Oregon.
“None of this would be possible if I didn’t have the support of my friends, family and coaches,” said Oakley. “I love it so much, there’s no other place I’d rather be in winter – with my friends and coaches.”
The Canada Winter Games run through March 3.