Olympic athletes inspire local skiers in Corner Brook
Wet weather woes won't interfere: club manager
The Blow Me Down Ski Trails in Corner Brook are typically busy this time of year, but exceptionally so this week as it hosts a national cross-country ski competition.
Hundreds of athletes from across Canada are on Newfoundland's west coast for the Haywood 2014 Ski Nationals, and local athletes are very conscious of the Olympic presence on their course.
Katie Thistle, 13, is competing for the first time in a national competition.
Thistle said seeing Olympic athletes skiing on her home course has been inspiring.
"It's really exciting. They're here, you don't really think you are going to meet them," she said.
"[You're] just watching them on TV and then all of a sudden you are standing there watching them race where you ski and train."
Webster said racing in local competitions helps to inspire younger racers to go for the big leagues.
"When I was a younger, developing skier, I would always aspire to be like my local Olympians and things like that, and for these girls to see that we are all human and it just takes hard work to get up to the top and to just go for your dreams," Webster said.
Wet weather won't dampen spirits
Shawn Leamon, general manager for the Blow Me Down Ski Club, said they've been battling against the weather to keep the trails groomed and ready for competition.
Rain mixed with the cold temperatures hasn't been ideal, but Leamon said the course is still ready to go.
"We had some weather conditions to deal with, but, you know what, smiling faces today and they are happy and the courses are in great shape today," Leamon said.
"Even though Mother Nature threw her best at us, hopefully she's had her little fit now, and we will have skiing now the rest of the week."
The competition continues until March 22.