Ski Season Begins for Rousseau Girls

Ski Season Begins for Rousseau Girls
On Saturday Shilo and Chandra Rousseau competed in a roller ski race in Gatineau Quebec, and the next day got to ski on snow in preparation for next weekend's start to the competitive ski season.
 
Shilo Rousseau-team photo
Shilo Rousseau-team photo
Shilo managed to capture 1st place ahead of last year's National Cross County Ski Champion, Justine Browne from Club Fondeur Lourentide north of Montreal. Shilo pulled away on a big uphill, opening a 35 second gap on the hilly 10km course.

Chandra managed a 10th place finish overall in the same race, which was her first time ever racing the 10km distance. 

The weather in Gatineau Park was beautiful, which helped attract about 150 roller ski racers. Many spectators came out to cheer, and the girls had a great time racing with their teammates from Barrie Cross Country. 

On Sunday morning, the Rousseau's left Gatineau and headed for Foret Montmorency, where the girls got some on snow training. Shilo need this, before her first competition coming up this Friday in Canmore, Alberta at the Biathlon World Cup trials.

It's been a busy summer and fall for the girls, getting prepared for the upcoming season. Their ski coach, Ron Howden, decided to leave Team Hardwood and start his own team called Barrie XC. Cecilia Rousseau says, "Ron is such a great coach and we joined Hardwood  because of him, so we decided to follow him on his new venture. The girls are excited and have been training hard all summer."

The girls spent time in Barrie for training camps, did a team canoe trip in Killarney,  and attended a training camp in Lake Placid, at the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics.  

Shilo is heading to Frozen Thunder in Canmore, AB on November 3rd with her dad Yves, where she'll compete in the selection trials for Junior IBU Cup Tour #1. These races attract the best biathletes in Canada, all trying to secure themselves a spot on the Olympic Team.

Last season, Shilo was a two-time Canadian Biathlon Champion in the Women's 17/18 year division. Even though Shilo is still only 17, she'll be racing up one age category, going against the best 19/20 year olds in the country, hoping to secure 1 of 4 spots on the team.

Chandra Rousseau-team photo
Chandra Rousseau-team photo

The Junior IBU Cup is a new circuit which started last year. It is designed to provide young athletes the opportunity to gain international race experience, which prepares them for the Senior World Cup tour. These races will begin on November 7th, 2017.

Chandra's first competition of the season will be at Silver Star Mountain, near Vernon B.C.  This year Chandra will be focusing on her cross country skiing. Silver Star is a high altitude ski camp, which will help the team perform better at their first O Cup race in Mont Sainte Anne, QC in January . These races will also be the final Olympic trials. Chandra's mom says, "She's pretty excited to get the chance to watch Canada's best skiers, racing for a spot on our Olympic XC Ski team."

Barrie Cross Country Ski Team
Barrie Cross Country Ski Team