Nathan Sylvestre is quickly making a name for himself as quite the bomber, securing impressive times and placements throughout the Alberta Ski Racing Provincial Series. The 13-year-old recently placed first in a Provincial series race in Jasper, and is looking ahead to next weekend when he will be representing Zone 7 at the Alberta Winter Games.
Nathan was practically skiing before walking, he laughs, “I’ve probably been skiing for 12 years. My parents put me on pretty quick.” He has been skiing competitively with the Cold Lake Blizzards Alpine Ski Club since he was four years old.
“The Provincial Series are a series of races throughout the year,” Nathan explains he’s quite competitive all season, “these are provincially ranked. Alberta Games is now part of my series.”
“I train in the mountains three to four days a week, it’s a lot of travel. I’m there because that’s where all my races are. I have to get used to the terrain. I’m training at different hills every week.” After capturing gold in Jasper two weekends ago, Nathan headed to Nakiska for another race on the series. “It’s the Canada Games ID Camp. It’s an opportunity for the kids trying out for the Canada Games, next year, to tryout the race run that the Canada Games will be hosted on.”
The young man says school can be tricking, but his teachers have been understanding, “my teachers end up giving me work and I end up doing it on the drive to races.”
For the Winter Games, Nathan has been training quite heavily, “the Winter Games is a slalom and a giant slalom race. I probably work out four to five days a week to get in shape for my races.” The skier practices at Kinosoo Ridge every Tuesday evening for night skiing, then if he is not in a race on the weekend, he trains there on Sundays. There is also dryland training in his regime.
This isn’t the first Alberta Games for the teenager, Nathan had qualified and represented Zone 7 for Mountain Biking at this past summer games, “that was a lot of fun! I ended up getting a silver and a gold. I was very excited about that.” When it comes to mountain biking versus skiing, the teenager says it’s really tough to choose between the two sports, “probably ski racing. I have probably a lot of prominent of a career in ski racing than mountain biking. Mountain biking is what I do in the summer, skiing is almost a job in the winter.”
Nathan travels with two other club members, his younger brother Ben and Chiara Harris. All three of the skiers have qualified and will be representing Zone 7 at the Alberta Winter Games this upcoming weekend in Fort McMurray.