Members of the Concordia University
ski team surprised even themselves last year by finishing second at the
CIAU National Championships. With a strong contingent of veteran athletes
and a promising crop of rookies, Concordia is hoping to be the king of
the hill this season.
Last year we did great at the Nationals and we didnt even
have our full team, said 2001 captain Pierre-Etienne Pete
Seguin. Some of our athletes couldnt participate because of
Seguin says that he cant wait for the start of training camp, which
will take place January 2-7 at Mont Blanc. We have 22 athletes,
men and women, signed up so far, and I know many of them are good skiers,
he said. Winning races is great, but its more about just skiing,
improving on your runs and having fun.
Concordia is in a league with McGill, Bishops, Université
de Montréal, UQAM, Laval, Sherbrooke and Ottawa. Once the season
starts, the teams ski every second weekend for five weekends. There are
a total of eight regular season races and two finals. The circuit takes
place at various hills around the province.
For Seguin, a 21-year-old Finance student, being team captain means some
added responsibilities. Im the guy who delegates. Every team
member will have certain tasks to do said Seguin. Each university
has to host one race a winter, so we have to make sure everything is organized
properly. We also just completed a successful ski sale on campus.
The annual ski sale, which featured all major brands for alpine skiing,
cross-country skiing and snowboarding, took place on campus November 22-26.
We havent got the final tally yet, but we figure we had 30-per-cent
higher volume than last year, said Yaron Conforti, the teams
treasurer. Thanks to a lot of hard work by the team, we had excellent
Conforti began skiing when he moved to Canada from his native South Africa
when he was nine years old.
I think Im more Canadian now than anything else, he
said. I love it here, and I love to ski. I would classify myself
as a strong skier, but Im not an experienced racer. I didnt
have a great year last season, so Im looking for big things this
As a team, we need consistent top three and top five placings to
get as many points as possible, Conforti continued. We have
to be strong in both slalom and GS.
Conforti says his favorite hill is Jay Peak in Vermont, whereas Seguin
has a soft spot for Le Massif, just north of Quebec City.
We had a great race last year at Le Massif, said Seguin. The
hill really suits my skiing. Stoneham is a great mountain too.
The ski team doesnt get to use the official Stingers nickname, but
the university does kick in $1,500 annually to help with expenses.
While the men have traditionally been the stronger skiers at the university,
Yaron hopes that there will be a decent womens team this season.
Apparently there are a number of talented women coming out, including
an exchange student from France, said Conforti. Im going
to go out on a limb and say well have a very successful season.
We have a good core group back and a lot of spirit. Now all we need is
a bit of snow.