By Luke Kirchmayr EBS CONTRIBUTOR
Although last year’s ski season was cut short due to COVID-19, the Big Sky Ski Team (BSSEF) has been working overtime to be fit for the 2020-2021 season.
From Nov. 21-25, BSSEF hosted a pre-season training camp at Big Sky Resort open to local teams. BSSEF athletes Ryan Beatty and Caleb Unger also traveled to Copper Mountain, Colorado to participate in the 2020 International Ski Federation National Championship where both placed exceptionally well in the super-G and downhill. Beatty placed 37th and 33rd respectively and Unger placed 46th and 31st.
In an effort to keep athletes healthy and out shredding, BSSEF has implemented new policies to keep everyone safe.
“We are requiring all athletes and staff to wear masks, we are limiting clubhouse traffic and doing temperature tests for all staff before training,” Aaron Haffey, junior development coach said. “We will also begin doing surveillance testing for staff. We have also been strictly following all CDC and Gallatin County recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
FIS and local races have also started to limit the total number of racers to 100 and have discouraged spectators. With limited capacity, BSSEF athletes will have to work extra hard this year because the qualification is decided by FIS and USSA points which have been determined from their U16 season. The athletes with the top points from each division can qualify for the race.
With new changes in place to keep the athletes safe, the first races have been scheduled, starting with a FIS race in Jackson Hole on Dec. 17-22. The race will consist of two slaloms at Snow King Resort. The first local race will be held at Blacktail Mountain Ski Area on Jan. 14-17 and will consist of two slaloms and two giant slaloms.
For more information on upcoming races, visit www.bssef.com.