In the town of Winkler, Manitoba, one does not hear much about
cross-country skiing, but one does hear about Joel Vanden Berg.
Joel is a hard-working cross-country skier and many people believe
some day he will make it to the Olympics.
Now a student in Grade 12 at Garden Valley Collegiate, Joel
started cross-country skiing about ten years ago. Since then,
he has been doing really well for himself in Winkler and across
Vanden Berg started as a recreational skier, but for the last
five years he has been active in competitive racing. He has competed
in out-of-province events for the past three winters and has
been to Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland. This year,
Joel will compete in British Columbia, Alberta and in Newfoundland.
Joel has been on the Manitoba ski team for three-and-a-half
years, coached by Ihor Barwinsky (his provincial coach) and Dan
Reimer (his personal coach). Joel trains very hard during the
year, logging as many as 440 hours in a season. His efforts have
made him the number one cross-country skier in Manitoba and one
of the top ten skiers in Canada for the Junior Boys age group.
Vanden Berg skis in five, ten, and fifteen kilometer races.
This includes both skate and classic skiing, with the skate-skiing
being his stronger technique.
The 36 skiing medals that Joel has already won may help him
achieve his goal of competing on the Junior National Cross Country
Ski team and, he hopes, of competing in the world Olympics in
the year 2006.