National team in Elliot’s sights

Coming back from knee surgery for a third time, Oyama racer looks to earn a spot on Alpine Canada's national ski team

Former Big White Racer Sarah Elliot is hoping to earn a spot on Canada's national alpine ski team.

Sarah Elliot clearly isn’t the type of person to give up on a dream.

Even after suffering the same injury for a third time in her career last season, the 20-year-old from Oyama remains as focused as ever on her goal of landing a spot on Canada’s national alpine ski team.

Elliot is back for her third season with the B.C. Alpine ski team and this week is competing in the Panorama Nor-Am races.

On Monday at Panorama, Elliot turned in a positive result in her first major race of the year, placing 10th in the ladies giant slalom.

Elliot’s performances in big events this winter will determine whether she’ll make it on to the national team for 2013-14 season.

It was last December during a race at Panorama that the former Big White Racer tore the ACL in her left knee for a third time in five years.

Even after another long and arduous road back from surgery, followed by months of rehab and physiotherapy, Elliot remains resolute and determined to one day make it on to the World Cup circuit.

“You know, it gets harder every time I come back, but it’s something I’m willing to go through,” said Elliot, whose family runs an orchard in Oyama. “I think it just shows me how much I love the sport, how much I want to achieve my goals. Even with what’s happened in the past, I’m confident in what I’m doing.”

Kelowna Ski Club coach Derek Trussler began working with Elliot at Big White when she was 15 and has watched her progress closely ever since.

If she can stay healthy, Trussler sees no other barriers standing between Elliot and a productive career with the national program.

“I think she’s doing extremely well, considering this is her third time coming back from injury,” Trussler said. “She has an extremely good attitude for skiing, her mindset and demeanour is great, and technically she’s very strong and has a good feel for her skis.

“I think there’s a very bright future for her,” he added. “Every day she gains confidence and get more comfortable, and I think she has the potential to do well in the sport for many years to come.”

Before the injury last season, Elliot did get a brief taste of the big time when she placed 39th in the Super G at her first World Cup appearance at Lake Louise.

It was all Elliot needed to reaffirm her ambitions of one day competing with the Canadian senior women’s team.

“It was a really cool experience, I was happy and relieved,” said Elliot who competed on Canada’s Prospect Team last season. “Ultimately, I would love to race with the national team and make a career out of skiing. I love skiing and as I’ve progressed, I’ve made this my big goal. Hopefully I’m on the cusp of the national development team.”

 

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