Last Saturday, Evan Bichon was at Tabor Mountain, winning gold for Team BC in the snowboard cross event at the Canada Winter Games.
Today, he’s on his way to China for the Junior World Championships.
And that’s just the latest stop on a whirlwind tour of ski hills.
“I was in Quebec for a week for a couple of races,” the 16-year-old Prince George racer says, “then I was in Colorado for a week, then up to Big White (near Kelowna), then back to Prince George for the Winter Games.”
Bichon went into the slalom event at the Games “for fun”, but the snowboard cross is his main sport, and he showed why on Saturday. He was fastest in the qualification runs, then won his quarterfinal and semifinal before topping the final foursome to win the gold medal.
“None of the races on the weekend were all that close,” he says. “I didn’t have huge distances, but I had a good lead in all of them coming home.
“I just went for every bit of speed in the final stretch.”
He got into snowboarding at age 8 in Mackenzie, where his mom, Trish, was one of those who started up a club.
“There wasn’t much else to do,” he says, “and it was just single-person races, more for fun.”
When he was 12, he discovered snowboard cross, and it’s been downhill (in a good sense) ever since.
“I was seventh at the Provincials my first year, then I won the Provincials my second year, and was third in the Junior Nationals that year.”
He tried out for, and made, the provincial under-14 team, and has been a member of Team B.C. since.
He’ll have plenty of familiar faces with him on the trip to China, as all three of the other snowboard cross finalists from the Games – Danny Bourgeois, Liam Moffatt and Fabrice Robert – are also on the Canadian team at the Junior Worlds.
“They’re all really super guys. We get along really well. We always to try to beat each other, because it’s great to win and it sucks to lose, but there’s a lot of support for each other.”
One of the other members of the Canadian contingent, of which Bichon is the youngest, is Meryeta O’Dine, also from Prince George, who won the women’s snowboard cross at the Games just before Bichon took to the course.
“When she finished,” Bichon says, “I was already in the starting gate for my race. I didn’t know she had won until I crossed the finish line in my race.”
The qualifying races for the world championship are on March 12 and the final is March 13.