For Invermere skier Martin Grasic, the mental side of skiing is what separates good from the truly great.
“In skiing it’s a lot about confidence,” Grasic said. “There’s a lot of guys who have the skillset, and it’s just about being able to stand in that start gate and understand that it might not be that day that you do it, but you still have to give it your all.”
Grasic looks prime to have a big season this year, after five podium finishes and being crowned FIS J1 National Championship in giant slalom in what most people would describe as a breakout season last year for the 17-year-old skier. Coming off a full off-season of training where he wasn’t hampered by lingering injuries, Grasic has just been named to the B.C. Alpine Ski Team for the second year in a row, and said he sets even higher goals for himself this year.
“One that kind of keeps popping into my head is I want to score Nor-Am points,” Grasic said. “It’s a pretty high goal I think but I feel like I’m definitely skiing at a level where I can do that.”
Grasic’s first race of the season falls on December 10, when he takes on some of the best competition in North America during the Audi Coupe Nor-Am Cup. Grasic has competed at the Nor-Am level in the past, but this season he expects to get more than a few starts at that level. Head coach Brandon Dyksterhouse agreed, and said that he was hopeful Grasic could make it all the way to world juniors this year.
“It’s a bit of a longshot to qualify for world juniors, but I think that he has what it takes, and with a little bit of luck and hard work he should be a member of that team,” Dyksterhouse said.
Grasic said he was happy with the way the team had fallen into place this year, and was hoping that everyone on the team continues to push each other to bigger and better things. For now, Grasic is itching to get back on the snow and put all his work and training to good use.
“It’s exciting, because you’ve been waiting for it for a while,” Grasic said. “You get off snow for a bit and you get antsy, I’m pretty excited because I’m pretty optimistic.”