Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

HITTING THE RAIL – Mavik Mackinnon grinds a rail at a mini freestyle ski park constructed at the park on Carpiquet Road.

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Photo by John Tonin

OFF THE JUMP – Kolya Grottoli zooms off the jump.

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Photo by John Tonin

Nevay Mackinnon takes her turn down the hill.

Freestyle skiers build mini rail park

At the end of Carpiquet Road sits a park.

By John Tonin on April 1, 2020

At the end of Carpiquet Road sits a park. It’s a nice little green space for the neighbourhood to enjoy, a space you could find in any of the subdivisions in Whitehorse – except for one small difference.

The park has a slope that some of the area’s young freestyle skiers have taken advantage of. With Mount Sima closed because of COVID-19 concerns, the young skiers, with help, installed two rails and a couple of jumps to continue practicing.

On Tuesday afternoon, four skiers, Mavik and Nevay Mackinnon along with friends Maceo and Kolya Grottoli were out enjoying the slope – at a safe two-metre distance.

The group trains with Freestyle Yukon and they all agreed this is a good way to still practice despite not having access to Sima.

Kolya said they have been using the hill non-stop since they created the mini freestyle park.

“The first few days it was set up we spent, I don’t know, five hours a day at it,” said Koyla.

The four skiers said the rails and jumps allow them to practice the tricks they would normally be working on if they were still training.

They said a shoutout was in order for Ben Machtans, a snowboarder and F.H. Collins student. He built the first rail on the slope in shop class.

It was only the four on the hill on Tuesday but Koyla and Maceo’s dad Anthony said there have been more kids from the area using it, as well as others from different parts of the city.

Impressive tricks were being shown by the skiers. They showed 360s off the jump and effortlessly rode down the rails.

The snow was hard-packed and icy leading to some extra speed.

In the time of COVID-19 and self-isolation or self-quarantining, these passionate skiers found a way to continue doing the sport they enjoy so much, making the best of the current situation.

Note: The parents at the hill recommend going with the kids to ensure safe social distancing.

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