The B.C. Winter Games creep closer and closer, and Invermere is well represented with a number of athletes who will be participating in this year’s iteration.
One of those athletes is Grade 9 David Thompson Secondary School student Nat McGrath, who will be participating in freestyle skiing. This will be Nat’s second time attending the games, as he also went in 2010 for alpine skiing.
“I feel honoured to be going for a second time,” McGrath said. “It’s always a good time there.”
The BC Winter games take place every other year, and features young athletes from across the province competing in a variety of athletic disciplines.
This year, the games take place in Vernon from February 23 to 26. A number of valley athletes will be attending in sports ranging from badminton to hockey, but McGrath is the only downhill skier attending from the region.
“I think it’s great,” Nat’s father Dave McGrath said. “It’s a great opportunity for the kids, the experience is amazing and they get to hang out with other kids who are into athletics. I think it’s an amazing experience and I’m glad that they have the opportunity to go.”
McGrath says he has been skiing since he was about two years old, and really got into the competitive side of it when one of his coaches at an early age encouraged him.
He skied competitively until he was about 12 years old, when he decided that he was growing tired of it and wanted to merely “have fun skiing.”
“I just love how you can either hang out with a bunch of friends (while skiing) or just be by yourself, and it’s just really fun,” McGrath said. While he didn’t face any qualifiers this year as he had in the past due to a low number of athletes, he says he’d still like to have a good showing at the games.
“”I’m hoping top twenty-ish,” he said. “But really I just want to go and have some fun and maybe learn some stuff.”