The hard work, commitment to her sport, and competitive spirit of 12-year-old alpine skier Olivia Young has not gone unnoticed. Olivia has been named the 2023 Alpine Ontario Alpin Female Athlete-of-the-Year. The award is bestowed to one male and one female annually based, in part, on podium finishes and overall standings and on the skiers’ dedication to bettering technical and physical performance, their sense of mentorship and/or leadership to the rest of their teammates, their participation in events, and their engagement in ski club communities.
Olivia has been skiing since she was two years old, competitively since the age of eight. According to Beaver Valley Ski Club Head Ski Coach Chris Daniels, who nominated Olivia for the 2023 Athlete-of-the-Year award, Olivia “excelled at pretty much every event she entered this season and had exceptional results that are highlighted by the following: first place in three Under 12 (U12) invitationals, the Wieder Cup, Beaver Valley Terrain Kombi, and Kidzbuhel Giant Slalom (GS) at Osler, as well as the U12 Georgian Peaks GS and U12 Alpine SL GS. She placed second in the Osler U12 Paneled Slalom and third in the Devil’s Glen U12 Ski Meister PSL.
“Considering that Olivia did a total of nine races this season, I feel these results confirm her as the best racer of our female U12 skiers in the province. She has excelled at all disciplines and not just at one type of event.
“Olivia stands out as a role model and a leader amongst her peers. She provides a great example to the other athletes on her team and other teams. She also carries herself as a student of the sport and is always willing to do extra runs at the end of the day, after program finish, and seems to understand the importance of time on task and getting success in the process.”
Olivia’s long-term goal is to one day be an Olympic racer. But first things first, she admits. Beginning in the 2024 season, she will compete in the Ontario Cup (OCUP) division where she aspires to place in the top ten among skiers ages 12 to 16 years of age, then into the Federation of International Skiing (FIS) division where she will be competing with skiers of all ages. “My goals in the OCUP is to make into the top ten,” she said.
Olivia is a Grade 6 student. She maintains top grades in school, according to Chris Daniel. “She demonstrates superior time management skills and athleticism,” he said. “She is the assistant captain and starting centre on her U13 girls’ rep hockey team. In the spring and summer months, Olivia stays active water skiing and as a member of a boy’s rep soccer team.”