Hope teens headed to BC Winter Games

Julius Brysch, 14, and Danielle Bacon, 13, are in Kamloops this weekend

It will be an exciting weekend for two Hope Secondary classmates when they travel to Kamloops to compete in the BC Winter Games for youth.

Julius Brysch, 14, will be racing in the giant slalom (GS) and slalom at Sun Peaks – northeast of Kamloops – and Danielle Bacon, 13, will join the Zone 3 ringette team for at least four games on Kamloops ice.

Bacon had a bit of a scare when she had a hard collision at practice last week.

“A teammate and I were going for the ring and we hit heads, then I hit the ice. I kinda got the worst of it,” she said with a grin, Tuesday.

“I took a few days off, to be safe,” she added.

Last weekend, her double-A Lower Mainland Thunder team won the provincial U-14 title, with Bacon scoring a hat-trick in the first game and five goals in total.

The win gives the Thunder a berth in the Western Canadian Ringette Championships in Saskatoon March 21-25.

In Kamloops, Bacon will be up against some of her teammates, who live in Zone 4 and 5. Brysch has already competed against Zone 4 and 5 skiers at the qualifiers at Whistler, Jan. 13 and 14.

“The conditions at Whistler were good and I had some good results,” said Brysch on Monday. “In the GS, I was 13th on the first run and 11th on the second.”

He placed in the 12th spot overall.

“Most of the kids who were ahead of me were from the coastal zone,” he added. “There are only four skiers in the Fraser Valley zone (Zone 3.) My friend, Elliot Rebele, from Agassiz is going to Kamloops, too.”

Brysch was born in Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany in 2004. He and his family moved to Hope 11 years ago.

He skied with the Manning Ski Club for two years but switched to the Hemlock club this season when the Manning club pulled out.

“We practise Saturdays and Sundays every week – and sometimes on Pro-D days,” Brysch said.

“It’s about seven hours each day. We usually train on the yellow chair, which is the shortest. We have to hike a bit to the course and we get a talk from the coach. We maybe get in 10 runs in a day.

“Last Sunday, only the yellow chair was open because of the wind. There were lots of crowds, so we only got six runs.”

Brysch figured the Olympic and World Cup skiers are getting into the 100 to 120 km/h zone on their giant slalom runs.

“I do maybe 60 to 70 kilometres an hour and down to 20 to 30 in some of the turns. I haven’t had a hard crash … usually just a hip slide.”

His equipment is specific to the style of skiing he does.

“Slalom has more gates and it’s tighter,” he explained. “My poles have hand guards so I can hit the gates and I wear shin guards. My slalom skis are shorter and they have a shorter turning radius. They come up to my chin and my GS skis are over my head.”

Brysch got advanced warning on a rule change, compared to the Whistler competition. “At Whistler, I dq’d on my first run in the slalom, then finished second on the next run. At the games, it’s combined times, so you have to have two good runs.”

To learn more about the games and track the results,. visit bcgames.org.

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