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Balharry bounds onto national team

Canada is set to announce its first-ever national slopestyle snowboard team and Canmore’s Rob Balharry’s name will be on it.

Canada is set to announce its first-ever national slopestyle snowboard team and Canmore’s Rob Balharry’s name will be on it.

Balharry received word he made the team earlier this summer and he will travel to Toronto next week to begin training with his new teammates.

“It’s one step closer to the Olympics in 2014,” Balharry said, who has his sites set on Sochi.

The inclusion means Balharry will don the Maple Leaf in several races this year as the national team continues to set its agenda. There are several snowboard tours around the globe, however, organizers are attempting to combine them to form a super tour in the lead up to the Olympics.

He’ll also work towards qualifying for the X Games, one of the pre-eminent snowboard events on the continent.

“My season will be the same for the most part, but there are a few competitions they’ll want us to be in,” he said.

He’ll have the chance to train under head coach Leo Addington and will travel to several events with the rest of the national team. When not dropping double corks in competition, he plans to film several projects this winter. Last winter, he filmed several segments for snowboarding videos.

“I hope I can break up competing and filming this winter,” Balharry said.

It’s been a big year for Balharry, who won his first world cup slopestyle medal in Calgary this past winter and is considered a promising emerging competitor in snowboard circles. He’s serious about his commitment to the sport, having trained in Whistler for much of July, and has installed an Olympic trampoline in his back yard.

He trains an hour a day on the trampoline, plus has a heavy schedule of dryland training over the summer. After Toronto, he’ll return to Canmore before travelling to New Zealand for another training session.

“I’m ready to get back to the snow,” Balharry said.

He’s received sponsorship from Red Bull and will qualify for Olympic funding, however, he is still looking for sponsorship dollars to help cover training and travel costs.

Slopestyle wasn’t announced as an Olympic event until earlier this summer, following a review by the International Olympic Committee. The committee had to determine the feasibility of the sport.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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