Local skier Zack Opheim has started out his 2011 ski season with a bang after winning a silver medal at the Canada Post BC Freestyle Series, a Silver Star Mountain event held on February 19 – 20
Winning the medal has earned Opheim a spot to represent B.C. at the Canada Post Junior National Freestyle Championships which will be held on March 9-13 at Marmot Basin, Jasper Alberta.
Having the chance to take part in the Junior Nationals is an important step for the young skier as he continues to work towards his ultimate goals.
“I am glad to have this chance. This will be the biggest event I have gone to against top competitors,” he said.
Opheim started skiing at the age of two on the slopes hills of Panorama Mountain Village.
The now 16-year-old has changed a great deal over the years but still loves being on the hills.
This will be the first time Opheim will have the chance to ski on the slopes of Jasper and he is excited to be going there.
“They have a lot of snow and that is a key,” he said.
As for why he has taken the slopestyle path Opheim said he likes the chance to use everything in the park and this style gives him the chance to use everything in his arsenal.
In the future he is hoping to work his way towards a chance to perform at the X-Games.
As he makes it to more events having the support of his family and sponsors also becomes a vital part of having the chance to perform.
Sandra Rejzek-Opheim is his mother and she stressed how important the support has been.
“It is important to us that his sponsors, Panorama Mountain Village and Panorama Freeride Club, who are a new club with up and coming athletes, get honourable mention. When Zack started Slopestyle skiing Panorama Mountain Village did not have a club so Zack and his buddy Mike Brush are self taught and self coached. They coach each other with the assistance of family and friends in Vernon who ski on the Silver Star Club and a connection was made with Jeremy Cooper, the Head Coach of the Silver Star Freestyle Team.”
She went on to thanks Sponsors Nordica, Orage and the Syndicate Board Shop who she credited with being a great help to her son.