Whitehorse Daily Star

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AIR CROSS – Mavik MacKinnon executes an Iron Cross during training Jan. 19 at Sun Peaks, B.C. MacKinnon finished first in slopestyle to capture gold.

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GOOD AS GOLD – Mavik MacKinnon with his slopestyle gold medal on Jan. 21 at Sun Peaks, B.C.

Mavik MacKinnon captures slopestyle gold in B.C.

Mavik MacKinnon captured gold in slopestyle at Sun Peaks B.C. recently.

By Whitehorse Star on January 30, 2023

Mavik MacKinnon captured gold in slopestyle at Sun Peaks B.C. recently.
This is his father Sean’s account of that experience.

I am just back from the first B.C. Timber Tour of the year – at Sun Peaks – and my son Mavik came home with a gold medal!

This is the first of three Timber Tour competitions (which are the B.C. provincial competitive freestyle ski series) for the 2023 ski season, the final one being the B.C. provincial championships (to be held at Silver Star in April this year). In that event held last year at Whistler (the 2022 BC freestyle ski championships), he won three silver medals in the Super Youth U12 category at age 11 – one in each category of moguls, slopestyle and big air.

This year at 12, Mavik chose to move up from Super Youth to the Timber Tour U14 category to embrace more competition, knowing that he would not likely make the podium even though he could have stayed in Super Youth for two more years. Still, he prepared as well as possible and ended up placing 11th in Moguls, ninth in Big Air and First in slopestyle – a gold medal in his favourite discipline!

This event was held at Sun Peaks Jan. 19-22, and was well organized and fully registered with about 75 boys and 25 girls competing. Mavik’s category had 26 competitors and he competed with the Whistler Team, who have been very supportive this year and last. The Whistler coaches were amazing, and impressed that Mavik is almost fully self-trained, although we were fortunate to hire Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon – a Whitehorse local – of the Canadian national freestyle ski team for three private coaching sessions in December.

This being his first year in U14 and in the Timber Tour rather than Super Youth, Mavik was anxious about the larger terrain park features for Timber Tour athletes and about competing in a park that he was not familiar with. However, he loved the Sun Peaks terrain parks and dealt well with the increased competition and a few weather issues too. In fact moguls were delayed for a while due to flat light and mist, and the final run of Slopestyle was hit with a moderate snow storm (where Mavik ‘stomped’ his winning run).

The increased competition was very evident and was a sight to behold. Many athletes were doing inverted tricks due to airbag training and certifications from their clubs. However, despite Mavik not having that, he still found a way to rank highly by being creative and excelling in strategy and form. There was also a reset to the scoring regime – last year in Super Youth, Mavik was scoring in the 90s, but this year in Timber Tour the judges were more scrutinizing in this grouping that includes ages 12-18, in which their scoring has to allow for a substantially higher standard. As an example – Mavik’s gold was achieved with a score of 60.6 with the second place athlete coming in at 54.6.

Ultimately Mavik was very excited to win a gold medal and achieve a top ten finish this early in the year, competing against some of the best B.C. athletes in his category. He also learned more about training, provincial level competitions, judging and strategizing at this level – surely tools that will serve him well moving forward (and upside down?).

Also, the podium finish and high rankings again confirm Mavik’s commitment to the sport and his resolve – and that his self-training approach is serving him well, along with the fantastic support of Whistler Freestyle.

Mavik is now planning for more self-training and strategizing for future competitions and hopes to represent the Yukon at some point in provincial and national competitions.

For now he is very appreciative of the support of Whistler Freestyle, and what freestyle skier would not want to reminisce about the years when they were on the podium for the Whistler team?

– Submitted by Sean MacKinnon

Comments (1)

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David B Wilson on Feb 5, 2023 at 6:56 pm

Very well done young man, you are showing us how it can be done with some true grit and resolve….keep right on trucking to the top….

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