Elite local athletes reflect on Winter Games

Clockwise: NTC Athletes Alex Coates

Greater Victoria is a hub for high-performance athletes, the home of many national training programs.

So with the Winter Olympics capturing the world’s attention, we intercepted four members of the National Triathlon Centre’s development team as they came out of the water from a monster swim at Saanich Commonwealth Place.

All four live locally and train full-time with the NTC and are candidates for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. All four are as fit as the Olympians who’ll be in Vancouver.

Asked to put on their imagination toque and picture themselves as winter athletes, they gave some surprising answers.

sports@vicnews.com

Alison Hooper, Junior women’s triathlon

Age: 17

Hometown: Metchosin

School: Claremont secondary

Biggest Accomplishment: “Sixth at 2009 junior worlds in Australia.”

What winter sport are you best at?

“Figure skating.”

Have you competed in it?

“Yes, at Juan de Fuca as a six and seven year old.

I was good at going backwards.”

What’s your favourite Olympic sport to watch?

“Women’s hockey and pairs figure skating.”

If you could try any Winter Olympic sport what would it be?

“Bobsled.”

How many gold medals is Canada

going to win in February?

“More than any other country. I think Canada is ready to represent.”

Marc-Antoine Christin, Junior Men’s Triathlon

Age: 17

School: Claremont secondary

Hometown: Montreal, Que.

Biggest Accomplishment: “Third at 2009 national juniors in Gatineau.”

What’s your best winter sport? 
Have you played competitively?

“I played lots of hockey with my friends at the arena but never competed in it.”

What’s your favourite Olympic sport to watch?

“Ice hockey, men’s and women’s.”

If you could try any Winter Olympic sport 
what would it be?

“Long track speed skating.”

How many gold medals is Canada going to win 
in February?

“20!”

Matthew Sharpe, Junior Men’s Triathlon

Age: 18

School: University of Victoria, General Studies

Hometown: Campbell River

Biggest Accomplishment: “Going to 2009 junior worlds in Australia (26th).”

What’s your best winter sport?

Have you competed in it?

“My best is downhill skiing, I didn’t compete in it. I wanted to play (organized) hockey but my parents wouldn’t let me.”

What’s your favourite Olympic sport to watch?

“Figure skating.”

If you could try any Winter Olympic sport

what would it be?

“Skeleton, that’d be tight.”

How many gold medals is Canada going to win

in February?

“The most possible!”

Alex Coates, U23 woMen’s Triathlon

Age: 20

Hometown: Calgary, Alta.

School: University of Victoria, Kinesiology

Biggest Accomplishment: “Third at U23 2009 nationals in Kelowna.”

What’s your best winter sport?

Have you competed in it?

“Snowboarding. No, (I didn’t compete but) I did do some cross country ski racing when I was little though.”

What’s your favourite Olympic sport to watch?

“Downhill snowboard racing. It’s hectic.”

If you could try any Winter Olympic sport

what would it be?

“Biathlon. Except I heard it’s harder than it looks.”

How many gold medals is Canada going to win

in February?

“22.”