NORTH Vancouver's Ford Swette scored his first ever gold and second podium finish on the Nor-Am Cup ski circuit when he took home first place in giant slalom at a race in Vail, Colo., Feb. 1.
The 20-year-old, a member of the B.C. Ski Team, finished his two GS runs in a combined time of 2: 08.60, beating Canadian national team racer Sasha Zaitsoff by 0.19 seconds. Kieffer Christianson of the United States finished in third.
"I feel very strong right now and this win is just another positive step forward," Swette said in a B.C. Alpine release, adding that he was happy to score a good result after missing a recent training trip the team took to Europe.
"It's been an interesting week and I'm so happy right now," he said. "Since I didn't train with the rest of the team in Italy last month, I had something to prove to myself when I got here for the Nor-Am races. I was nervous that maybe I had fallen behind while everyone else was getting amazing training in Europe. My confidence has been restored and I now believe that the break was actually a benefit to me and gave me time to focus on what I need to do to be successful."
This was Swette's second Nor-Am podium finish of the season - he scored GS silver at a race held at Panorama, Dec. 14. The Nor-Am Cup circuit is one step below the FIS World Cup.