It should come as no surprise that West Kelowna skier Mason Barzilay has made Team B.C.’s freestyle ski team.
While the 15-year-old Mount Boucherie student wasn’t quite born with skis on, she may as well have been.
Her first official ski run came at just 18 months of age when four generations of her family hit the slopes at Apex.
“I wouldn’t say that she skied, but she had skis on,” laughs her mom Ronda, recalling the excursion that included Mason, her parents, grandparents and her great grandfather.
Even before that, a four-month-old Mason had felt the sublime glide of skis-on-snow tucked into her father’s coat for short runs at Apex.
And Ronda, a 1991 Canadian speed skiing champion, recalls skiing while pregnant, with her mom riding shotgun to make sure no one ran into her.
Yes, you might say that Mason Barzilay’s love for skiing came naturally.
Fast forward 15-years and Barzilay’s passion for the sport is taking her to higher and higher levels.
Last week she left for Whistler-Blackcomb for a spring training camp with Team B.C.’s high performance mogul team, beginning her first year as a member of Team B.C.
“I think this is going to be great for me,” said Barzilay, prior to leaving for Whislter. “Obviously it’s going to be a new experience and hopefully it’s going to be positive and I’m going to learn lots and grow as a person.”
Barzilay had a spectacular year as a moguls racer, competing with the Apex Freestyle Team.
Her season culminated early this month at the B.C. Freestyle Championships at Whistler and Blackcomb where she won silver in moguls and gold in dual moguls.
Overall her results attracted the attention of Team B.C. and she has made the jump to the provincial team.
It will mean about 50 days of training in Whistler this summer.
“I think I will be able to improve a lot,” she said. “I improved a lot last year and that’s one of the main reasons I made Team B.C. but with the extra training and time on the snow I think I will improve even more.”
Barzilay says she would love to follow in the footsteps of Kristi Richards, another Apex moguls racer who has competed in two different Olympic Games.
Definitely one day I would love to go to the Olympics and do international competitions but right now I just think my goal is to get better and be out on the hill getting in as much time as I can.”
And what about her beginnings as a skier and her long family history with the sport? Barzilay says her family’s passion for the sport has definitely rubbed off on her.
“With my family having a cabin at Apex that has allowed me to train a lot,” she said. “I ski because it’s fun and because I love it. When I get down to the bottom of the hill I always feel like I have accomplished something incredible.”