Whistler ski-cross racer qualifies for Youth Olympics 

Morrow heading to Switzerland in January

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - CRUSING FORTH Jack Morrow qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland next month.
  • Photo submitted
  • CRUSING FORTH Jack Morrow qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland next month.

Jack Morrow's first overseas race is set to be a doozy.

The Whistler ski-cross racer will head to Switzerland next month for the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne after qualifying in early December.

"It was pretty exciting. I've been working pretty hard throughout the summer and the last couple months, so it feels good that it's all paying off," the 17-year-old said.

Morrow punched his ticket through a qualifier at Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer, Alta.

Racers competed in 10 round-robin heats, with points being awarded for their placements in each heat. Morrow won eight of 10, finishing second in the two others. Each racer's two lowest results were dropped, leaving Morrow with a perfect score of eight.

Morrow, who placed third in the Western Canadian Ski Cross Series last year, credited an intense summer of training in the gym, along with some bike riding, with helping him feel strong on course.

"I was doing a lot more gym work than I have in the past, so I was focusing on gaining more muscle and getting physically bigger," he said. "I could generate a lot more power out of places that I couldn't in the past. Overall, I felt stronger. I was beating people I wasn't beating as much last year."

Morrow noted that the qualifiers at Canyon were held before the resort was officially open for business, adding that though there wasn't a lot of precipitation, the ski-cross course rode well.

"There wasn't a ton of snow. We were actually up before opening day doing our races," he said. "They made a lot of snow and they shaped a pretty good course, actually."

Heading into the Youth Olympics, Morrow is looking forward to the opportunity to race 15-to-18-year-olds from all over the world.

"I'm not entirely too sure what to expect. I've only been racing in North America so far, so I'm not exactly sure what they're doing over there in Europe. It'll be interesting to find out," he said. "I'll go as hard as I can and we'll find out what happens."

Morrow won't get the chance to scope out the competition beforehand, as he'll head straight into Europe right after racing the NorAm Cup event back at Canyon on Jan. 11 and 12. The ski-cross event at the Youth Olympic Games runs on Jan. 19, though the Games in their entirety go from Jan. 9 to 22.

After returning from Europe, Morrow will take part in a couple NorAm Cup races in Eastern Canada before coming back to Whistler.

"I'm trying to fit some school into all that as well," said the Grade 12 student.

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