Two years from now, Meryeta O'Dine wants to be carving through corners and sailing over jumps at the Canada Winter Games. To realize this goal, she'll have to grab a Team B.C. spot in her chosen sport, snowboard cross.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games, of course, will be held in Prince George. The snowboard cross competition will utilize the slopes of the Tabor Mountain Ski Resort and, on Sunday, O'Dine and other Games hopefuls will have the chance to race on a track that will be similar to the one that will be in place for 2015.
On Sunday, the B.C. Snowboard Provincial Series stops at Tabor and will double as a test event for the Canada Winter Games. Naturally, O'Dine can't wait to hop on her board and go for a rip on a course that has been designed by world-renowned builder Jeff Ihaksi.
"I went out there [in mid-January] and did a couple runs on the track," O'Dine said. "There weren't necessarily berms or anything. There were a couple rollers, just so we could kind of see what it's going to be like, the layout of it. And it was really interesting. [Ihaksi] is really excited to start putting stuff in."
The 15-year-old O'Dine only took up snowboarding a few years ago but has quickly become one of B.C.'s best snowboard cross athletes. Two weeks ago, she attended a provincial-level race in Lake Louise and won all nine of her heats.
Then, last weekend, O'Dine was at Big White near Kelowna for an international points event and blistered the course again.
At Big White, she advanced to the final both Saturday and Sunday. On the first day, she was making a move to take over the lead but was knocked off balance by a Japanese boarder behind her. O'Dine crashed and was disqualified for missing a gate. But, in the Sunday final, she had one of the most thrilling races of her life.
"I was in second most of the way down the track and in the last four corners and two jumps, it was me and the girl in front of me fighting for first," O'Dine said. "I'd pull ahead and then she'd pull ahead. It was the coolest racing I've ever done and I got first by a photo finish."
O'Dine's golden result was especially impressive because her fellow competitors were 18 to 20 years old.
Sunday's riders will range from 14-and-under to 30-and-over. O'Dine will compete in the 15-18 age class.
After Sunday's race, O'Dine will start gearing up for a Nor-Am event the following weekend back at Big White. There, she'll get the chance to go head-to-head against some of the current members of Team B.C.