Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Whistler snowboarders Smith and Pelchat talk Team Canada

Team Canada rookie Truth Smith looks to impress, while Juliette Pelchat eyes a return to form
Truth Smith’s skills will be put to the test this year when competitions get underway in his first season with Team Canada.

For many athletes, getting the call letting them know they’ve made Team Canada is the highlight of their young career and a cause for celebration.

But for Whistler snowboarder Truth Smith, getting the call from the national team is just the next step towards his ultimate goal.

“I’m pretty stoked, for sure, but nothing is really changing. I still have a ton of work to put in,” said Smith. “Next steps for me are just following along with what I’ve been doing and the goals I’ve set, continue to work hard and have fun learning new tricks and landing runs in contest. Making the team doesn’t change or affect my goals, but it gives me new opportunities to help accomplish them.”

Although making the team doesn’t crack the list of Smith’s career highlights, which includes things like competing in his first World Cup last winter, riding with some of his idols at an event in California last year, and his first Australia snowboard trip three years ago, it does mark an important achievement, and one that will be instrumental in his goal of spreading his love for the sport.

“I’m just looking forward to travelling to new places and enjoying every new experience and opportunity that is put in front of me,” said Smith. “The overall goal is just to become a pro snowboarder and share the love I have for this amazing sport with others. I just have to keep working hard and having fun.”

On top of rubbing shoulders with some of the best slopestyle and big air snowboarders on the planet like Mark McMorris and Darcy Sharpe, Smith will also be joining longtime friends and fellow Whistler-raised teenage snowboard phenoms Finn Finestone and Juliette Pelchat on the National Team.

Don’t call it a comeback

Going into her fourth year as part of the national program, starting with being named a prospect athlete before making it on to the Next Gen team, Pelchat is eyeing a return to form after a few years without getting many competitions under her belt.

With two seasons’ worth of competitions essentially being erased by the pandemic, excitement was high for the 2021-22 season to get back to a normal schedule of events. Unfortunately, a broken ankle early in the season kept Pelchat out of competition for yet another season.

“It was pretty tough. I was pretty defeated when I got injured and I was really bummed that I was missing most of my competitive season,” she said. “But yeah, I tried to take it the best I could, and I had such good support helping me through the injury like my mom and my physios at Canada Snowboard to make my rehab super smooth.”

Despite being “super eager” to get back into the competitive scene, Pelchat can’t help but also feel a little nervous about jumping back in to competing, especially on the world stage after being out of practice for a while.

But the plan is to take it slow, starting with some smaller contests to get her feet under her before jumping back into the major competitions—all while remaining focused on learning as much as possible and taking everything in from coaches and teammates that she can.

“I’m really out of practice and I really just want to get back at it. And even if I don’t do my greatest, I think it’s a really good learning experience,” said Pelchat.

“But I’m definitely nervous to get back to what I actually love doing. I think it’s just because I haven’t done it for awhile. But with every bit of nerves comes a bit of excitement, so I’m just hoping it’s going to be awesome.”

Next Steps

Currently, Smith is enjoying his second trip to Australia, where he plans to spend the rest of the summer training before the season gets underway in the winter.

“This place is unreal, so many nice and like-minded people. The boarding is also incredible. It’s always just such a good vibe,” he said. “Snowboard-wise, I’ve just been getting some tricks back, getting comfy and getting ready to do some new ones soon.”

This season, Smith hopes to build on last year’s World Cup experience and continue performing when it counts and land some monster runs in-competition.

Meanwhile, Pelchat is still in Whistler coaching skateboarding with her company the Real Wild Kittens, but will also be jetting off to Australia next month where she will train for some pre-season contests in New Zealand.

After that, Pelchat flies to Europe for another training camp in Switzerland and to do some travelling before the 2022 season officially begins around December.

This season, Pelchat is focused on not only competing in multiple World Cups, but also taking that next step and qualifying for the finals.

“That’s a pretty big goal for me. And I just want to improve all around,” she said. “Progression, progression, progression, and just learning. It’s a whole learning experience for me right now. I’m at that stage where I just want to learn, I want to absorb every single piece of a contest. And I think that’ll make me a stronger rider and just a better all-around rider.”