Posted by Editoress on 06/5/12
The rain held off and twenty girls were all smiles for the Fast and Female mountain biking event on Saturday, June 2nd, at Hardwood Hills in Oro-Medonte, Ontario.
The ambassadors for the event were Amanda Sin, Andréanne Pichette, Hayley Smith, Catherine Vipond, and Sarah Moore. All raced in the Canada Cup race the day after the Fast and Female event except for Vipond, who got caught up in the crash at the start of the World Cup race in the Czech Republic and was still recovering from a concussion.
Marie-Ève Bilodeau-Corriveau and Myriam Paquette came all the way from Quebec City to animate the event for Fast and Female, and did a fantastic job of bringing everyone together.
After the girls signed in, they went to their ambassador groups and talked about what their sport, school, family and career goals were, and what steps they needed to reach them.
“To be awesome,” was one energetic 10-year-old girl’s goal.
The ambassadors then introduced themselves and told the girls what some of their own goals were, and why they were so passionate about mountain biking.
Amanda Sin then stole the show with her presentation featuring her bronze medal from the Pan-American Games and the blue stuffed animal that was given alongside it on the podium. The younger girls loved the funny little animal and held it in their hands as they proudly put the medal around their necks. All of them were impressed at how heavy it was.
Sin told the girls about how exciting it was racing for Canada in front of a huge, noisy crowd and about how she managed to podium at the race.
“I focused on having fun on the course. The uphill was hard but I’d get to the top and be excited about going down the technical section,” she said. “Never give up because you never know what will happen.”
She said that the important thing is having fun and now she can’t imagine her life without biking.
“I like being healthy and I like where sports take me. All of my friends are in sport.”
Andréanne Pichette, who was recently in Europe competing for Canada in the U-23 category, told the girls about her experiences as a racer next.
“You get to see so many things traveling for races that you wouldn’t normally get to see. Most people only go to the big cities in Europe but we go to the underground places.”
The Canadian women’s mountain bike team is currently ranked number one in the world and Pichette said that was incredibly motivational for her at the first World Cup races this year.
“There were three [Canadian] women in the top ten. It gives you so much energy when you see these people do well,” she said. “It’s the best mix ever. The best people, traveling and biking,” she added.
She told the girls not to be scared of dreaming big and that they could all reach their goals if they wanted to.
“Sometimes people think your dreams are too dreamy but stick with them,” she said.
After the girls gave their presentations, it was time for the dance portion of the event. The high-speed dance routine was almost harder than the mountain bike ride but just as fun. Everyone let loose and tried to follow superstar dancer Myriam Paquette as she flew from one position to the next.
“One more time, and faster,” she would say, before adding a new move to the choreography.
“If I keep going to these Fast and Female events I might get good at dancing,” said Sin after the dance.
The dance served as the perfect warm-up for the mountain bike portion of the event. The four groups went off in different directions to practice their mountain bike skills on the Hardwood Hills trails with their ambassador groups.
The hour-long bike section went by in a flash and everyone came back with a smile on their face. The next day many of the girls even came back to Hardwood to cheer on the ambassadors in the Canada Cup race.
Report by Sarah Moore
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