(outer photo credit Bill Marsh Photography/Alpine Canada Alpin)
The winter sports season is here and for many that means heading to the local mountains to enjoy fun and games in the snow. For Braydon Luscombe, the winter season means business - a heavy travel schedule for competing in para-alpine races across North America and Europe.
(photo credit Brianne Law/Alpine Canada Alpin)
Sponsored by Vancouver Airport Authority since 2009, Luscombe, a former prospect athlete with the 2010 Legacies Now, Growing Champions program, has moved up to the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team (CPAST). He competes in the standing category for para-alpine athletes as his right leg was amputated after contracting an illness as a child. His natural talent, dedication and solid race finishes resulted in Alpine Canada Alpin selecting him for the 2011-2012 Senior National team.
Luscombe has been training throughout the year with his fellow national team mates in preparation for his inaugural season to represent Canada on the international circuit. At 19, Luscombe displays an impressive level of maturity and commitment to his craft. He trains on snow approximately 100 days per year, 35 of those being race starts.
With YVR as his travel sponsor, Luscombe receives funding to help with the expense of the sport he loves. He has already travelled this season to Chile, Switzerland, USA and Alberta. When asked what he is most excited about this season, Luscombe says, “I am stoked for my first year at the Senior National level. I had a great slalom run in my first Nor-Am race of the year at Copper Mountain (Colorado) with a 3rd place finish. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.” He will hit the slopes seeking more podium finishes at Kimberley and Panorama in BC as well as New Hampshire, Colorado and the Canadian Nationals in Quebec.
Travelling from race to race with the team takes a great deal of organization, especially with the equipment these elite athletes require. There are 13 members of the team, six are from British Columbia. Luscombe, from Duncan, BC, often travels through YVR. Luscombe notes, “YVR has got to be one of the easiest airports to travel through on my journeys, one path from point A to point B.” Each team member is responsible for transporting their own equipment, so YVR’s oversized baggage carts (introduced for the 2010 Winter Games) come in handy to accommodate the multiple pairs of skis, poles, boots and team gear.
Luscombe is looking to improve on his already impressive record. His favorite discipline is slalom, in which he achieved 2nd place at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, NS last season. With his 3rd place finish in Colorado this year, he has certainly made a great start. Let’s hope having YVR’s logo emblazoned on his helmet helps him fly downhill to more successes throughout the season.