Team Summit skier wins World Pro Tour Junior parallel slalom
FRISCO — Before relocating with her family to Whistler, British Columbia, accomplished youth skier Stella Buchheister won her final competition representing Team Summit at this past weekend’s World Pro Tour Junior event at Vail Mountain.
Buchheister advanced through the single-elimination knockout rounds in the parallel slalom competition to win the overall championship. It was a great way to start the season for Buchheister a year after she found success locally and at the International Children’s Games in Lake Placid last January.
Despite racing in tough visibility with snowy conditions Dec. 14 at Vail, Buchheister focused on her singular races one at a time. The parallel slalom set up consisted of 26 gates on a pair of courses side by side.
“Going into the day, I was really hoping to win,” the 13-year-old Buchheister said. “I felt I had the ability to do it. When I think about a previous race’s results, or what I could get, I just kind of freeze up. So I decided instead of thinking about winning and how I wanted to win, think about skiing each race like I wanted to win it — skiing my very best.
“And I think that’s what helped me the most. Just not really focusing as much on what I thought my result was going to be but more on skiing it like I wanted that result.”
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She said the level of competition at the race was high.
“So I think that was a good challenge,” Buchheister said. “The highest races, it’s really fun to have that big competition. You have to really go for it when you have that kind of competitiveness.”
Buchheister said she particularly likes to race in the head-to-head parallel slalom format because she doesn’t get to do it as much.
“There’s more adrenaline when racing head-to-head because someone is right next to you pushing you, making you go faster,” she said.
Looking ahead, Buchheister said she hopes to one day compete in the World Cup or Olympics in the more common giant slalom, Super G and slalom disciplines. As for whether she’d represent the U.S. or Canada, considering she’s moving to Whistler and racing for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, she said she’d hope to race for the red, white and blue. The wild card, though, is Slovenia, as that’s where her mother hails from.
“I definitely aim to make it to the World Cup or the Olympics,” Buchheister said. “And I also would like to ski for college, too. Those two would be really cool experiences.”
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