Young Vancouver Island cross-country skier earns spot on British team

Cumberland’s Gabriel Gledhill, off to Edinburgh after being named to Great Britain’s national squad

Gabriel Gledhill, a junior Nordic skier from Cumberland, has been selected to Great Britain’s national performance squad – Team GB – for the 2020/2021 ski season. The 17-year-old has spent seven-plus years with the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, based out of Mount Washington.

He is heading off to Edinburgh in September.

Born in England, Gabe knew nothing about cross-country skiing until his parents took him to Mount Washington — and the seeds for a love of skiing were sown. In Grade 3 with the Jackrabbit program, Gabe progressed through the devos and junior levels.

At Raven Lodge, he had lessons and training each weekend, and added after-school training as things became more serious. Off-season, he undertook dryland training with roller skis, trail running, strength exercises and summer camps.

Ensuing team trips around B.C. included events in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke. Gabe became part of the Strathcona Junior Race team, coached by Dave Battison – who passed away in 2015 – and later by Andrea Stapff.

The intensity and hours of skiing each week quickly increased, as did his skill level in classic and skate skiing.

He became a member of the B.C. Ski Team after a podium performance at the 2018 nationals in Thunder Bay. Since then, Gabe’s passion for skiing has taken him to Sun Valley, Idaho and Truckee, California for national meets.

He also had a top 10 finish in the 10K pursuit at the Austrian National Championships for juniors.

As he embarks on a new chapter of his skiing career abroad, Gabe will be living and training in Edinburgh in the fall before heading to Lillehammer, Norway, where he will be based for the winter. Lillehammer is conveniently located for training, travelling and competing around Europe.

“It’s a dream come true, to train and compete in Europe,” Gabe said. “I am very excited to see how my season will go with a new team and culture.”

Even though he will be skiing for Team GB, his ‘home club’ will remain Strathcona Nordic.

Anyone wishing to help Gabe reach his goals this season is invited to visit his fundraising page:

https://bit.ly/3hqxyDT

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