Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dustin Cook

WARMING UP – A young athlete warms up by the fire in Mount Sima’s chalet during a cold Saturday on the slopes.

Olympian Max Parrot visits Mt. Sima on busy weekend

It was a blustery, cold and snowy weekend atop Mount Sima,

By Dustin Cook on November 27, 2017

It was a blustery, cold and snowy weekend atop Mount Sima, but that didn’t stop the mountain from welcoming hundreds of athletes for competition, training and trials including Canadian Olympian Max Parrot, who otherwise would have had to travel to Europe or a competition in China to train on snow.

Parrot was on the mountain’s big air jump Saturday morning consistently working on his backside take-off. The Olympian, in view to everyone sitting inside the chalet keeping warm, would do a jump and be ushered back up by the mountain’s crew in a sled to get right back on the jump.

He stayed out there for an hour and a half hitting the jump about 60 times to work on the technical element before calling it a morning. This was Parrot’s second day of training on the mountain on his first trip to the Yukon.

“Currently in November in Canada there’s not many places to train,” the 23-year-old freestyle snowboarder said following his morning training session. “I heard from the national team that Yukon had pretty decent jumps over here.”

Already having qualified for the Olympics, Parrot said he wanted to get more individual training in rather than going to an event in Beijing, China. Known for his risky tricks that are first in competitions, Parrot said he loves inventing new runs.

“When I was younger, my dream was to become a pro snowboarder and when I achieved it I had to find another dream and my dream became to just push the sport to another level,” he said.

Parrot made the trip up with Canadian NextGen snowboarder Carter Jarvis, who was at Mount Sima in early November with the six other athletes in the NextGen program.

“I heard Max was coming up and I knew Tyler (Nichol) would be on it building a nice jump for him so I thought it’d be nice,” he said.

Jarvis, 18, is working his way up in the sport and is setting his sights on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

With the good weather conditions and professional jump builders, Mount Sima general manager Janet Hink said they are seeing an increase in interest in visiting for pre-season training.

“We’re definitely gaining ground with having the number of athletes and coaches interested in coming up here for pre-season training just in itself,” she said.

This week alone the mountain was hosting four alpine ski teams from Quebec, the national alpine snowboard team trials and Parrot who will be there until the Nov. 30 before heading off to Colorado for the World Cup tour.

Add on the 77 athletes competing in the Canada Cup, it was a packed chalet for the weekend.

“It means a lot to the hill and the user groups,” Hink said of the Yukon athletes and groups that have grown up training on Mt. Sima. “They get to train with people that they compete with outside of the territory at home, which is awesome.”

To host all of the athletes and training takes a lot of work by the operations team and lead jump builder Tyler Nichol, Hink said.

“We’re really spoiled here in the territory to have someone like Tyler at Mount Sima cause he’s got Olympic venue building experience but he loves the north and he wants to be here and he loves the hill,” she said.

Parrot and Jarvis too commented on the work of Nichol and the team building the jumps and turning the mountain into their personal playground.

“Tyler is amazing. Tyler makes this place paradise,” Jarvis said. “Having a world-class builder and groomer at a place like this is a little nugget of gold.”

For Parrot, he said to train on snow in November he has always had to travel to Europe and it was a great opportunity to be able to stay in Canada and train on a world-class jump.

“The jump is very good, always something that stresses me when I try to go to a new place,” he said. “I talked with the mountain and Tyler who were super nice. The jump is perfect, I have nothing bad to say.”

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