Athlete of the Week: Andi Naude
Penticton moguls skier a one-of-a-kind on Team Canada and the World Cup circuit
Who: Andi Naude
What: Moguls skier
Story: Andi Naude stands out on the Canadian moguls team, and not just because she can rip a "back full" — only the most difficult aerial trick ever attempted by a female.
On a team of French Canadians, the 20-year-old is the only Anglo, proudly repping the Apex Freestyle Club and her hometown of Penticton.
"Being the only westerner on the World Cup circuit is very interesting," said Naude, who finished third at the Olympic moguls test event today in South Korea.
'My own version of French immersion'
"Now that I have spent a few years in my own version of French immersion I can understand nearly everything spoken," she said. "It is my goal to one day become fluent speaking as well. It's coming, slowly but surely."
So far, the language difference hasn't proven to be a barrier to improvement. Last weekend Naude won dual moguls silver at the Deer Valley World Cup.
Two week earlier she was part of a Canadian podium sweep at Val Saint-Côme, Quebec, finishing second behind reigning Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe, and just ahead of her sibling Chloe Dufour-Lapointe.
The third Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, finished 16th.
Naude acknowledges the three sisters tend to absorb a lot of the media spotlight around the sport, but that's just fine with her.
"I'm not concerned about being left out. I ski for myself and for the fun, not to be a celebrity," she said. "They deserve the recognition — it's quite unheard of to have three siblings competing at such an elite level."
Power of the 'back full'
Canada will send four female moguls skiers to next year's Olympics in Pyeongchang meaning Naude has a decent shot at making the team if she continues to put up results.
That's where the "back full" could come in handy.
Consisting of a backflip with a full 360-degree twist, the jump carries a high degree of difficulty which increases Naude's potential to score points.
"I'm one of the few women in the world who can compete it," she said. "You have to generate flip rotation as well as spin rotation. There's a lot of trust involved. Maxime is another one of the few woman to compete this trick. We feed off of each other and push each other."