The relatively new Olympic event of ski slopestyle means that every skier is a serious competitor. Vancouver born Yuki Tsubota is no exception. At only 20 years old, Tsubota has already competed internationally and won a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championship.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis will bring experience and a story of perseverance to the Sochi games. An original member of the affectionately named "Canadian Cowboys" alpine ski team, Osborne-Paradis powered through his disappointing finish in the 2010 Olympics and a major injury in 2011 to return to top-10 status at the world level. This North Van native and Invermere-trained skier will channel these hardships into his competitions in Sochi.
This is not Georgia Simmerling’s first time at the Olympic starting gate. The 24-year-old from West Van competed at the 2010 Games as part of the Canadian alpine ski team, but this year she returns to the world stage as part of the national ski cross team. Simmerling suffered a setback in 2012 when she broke her neck and back during a race, but was back to training just two months after the accident. This determined 24-year-old is looking to capture the ski cross gold that Ashleigh McIvor took home for Canada four years ago.
At Skate Canada International in 2010, Kevin Reynolds became the first man to ever land two quadruple jumps in a figure skating short program. Four years later, Reynolds will make his Olympic debut. After a breakout performance in 2013 earned him first place title at the ISU Four Continents Championship, North Vancouver-born Reynolds will compete as a member of Team Canada in Sochi.
B.C-born Carey Price first wore the Canadian maple leaf with pride at the 2007 World Juniors where he had two shut outs and was a crucial part of the team's gold-medal victory. Price dons the maple leaf once again as goaltender for Canada's Men's Hockey team. Currently playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Price and Roberto Luongo will vie for the starting netminder position.
Finishing third in the qualifying runs for Women's Slopestyle Snowboarding, this Courtenay, B.C. athlete will take on the best in the world in her upcoming finals. Her bronze medal in the 2013 Winter X Games in Aspen offers hope for a podium finish.
At the Vancouver Olympics, Denny Morrison was team leader of the Canadian speed skating team that won gold in the Team Pursuit event. In Sochi, Morrison will return to the Games competing in the 1,500-metre race and the Team Pursuit. Morrison was born in Chetwynd, B.C. and considers Fort St. John, B.C. his hometown. His love for speed skating began at age three and has taken him to two Olympic appearances and many world championships.
Kelsey Serwa's event, ski cross, made its Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 games where Serwa finished fifth overall. In Sochi, Serwa returns to the Games to chase a medal. The 24-year-old Kelowna, B.C. skier has over 10 World Championship podium finishes giving her the experience needed to make an impression at this year's Olympics.
Vancouverites commonly cheer him on as a d-man for the Vancouver Canucks – in Sochi however, the rest of Canada will join in to cheer him on as a member of the Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey Team. Born in Smithers, B.C., Hamhuis will play alongside golden-boy Sidney Crosby and teammate Robert Luongo for his Olympic debut.
After becoming the first Canadian woman to win gold on home soil for her performance in the snowboard cross event at the 2010 Games, Maëlle Ricker returns to the Olympics hungry for more. After taking bronze in the 2012 Winter X Games and winning her first world title in 2013, this North Vancouver native is definitely one to watch.
B.C.'s best athletes are looking to bring home gold in Sochi
With medal contenders in top sports like figure skating, snowboarding and skiing, B.C. has a strong presence on the Canadian Olympic team. Here are 10 local names you should know when you tune in to watch the 2014 Games in Sochi.