Skier brings success to the team 

By Ryan Szporer

Skier Brianne Ormerod didn’t know it at the time, but when she placed first at an interuniversity event at Mont Blanc, Quebec, a few weeks ago, she brought an end to a lengthy Concordia University slump.

Brianne Ormerod in action at the Canadian Championships. Magnifying glass

Brianne Ormerod in action at the Canadian Championships.

The last race Concordia had won came three seasons ago, on the skis of Anna Prchal, the former national team member. For Ormerod, a rookie with the university squad, the victory was unexpected.

“There’d been two race series so far and the first one I hadn’t really trained a lot for, so I wasn’t really ready for it, and I didn’t do so well in that one,” she said. “This one was a slalom race, which is my better event [as opposed to giant], but I didn’t think I was going to win.

“Then I came down my first run and I was quite a big time ahead of the rest of the people. It was really exciting and a lot of fun.”

Really, Ormerod is well versed in the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the finer points of skiing overall, having spent the better part of the past decade racing competitively. She is from Mont Tremblant, so the sport was almost a prerequisite to growing up.

“I’ve been racing since I was five years old, and since I was 11 my life has pretty much revolved around this.” She’s almost 19 now.

Following her senior year in high school, Ormerod opted to pursue Grade 12 in Whistler, B.C., which provided her with ample opportunity to continue skiing. She even took part in the 2007 Canada Winter Games in the Yukon as a member of Team B.C.

“It was not the same competition as usual in ski-racing. It’s usually at a very international level, so it was different. But it was a really good experience,” she said.

Concordia’s 11-member ski team is glad to have her. Six to eight skiers show up to each event. (Members show up whenever they can and are not forced to race every single outing.) Ormerod is one of two freshman faces, with Skyler Farrell. Now fourth in the women’s standings in the Quebec university alpine ski racing circuit, Ormerod is the top-ranked Concordia skier.

“She brings a huge amount of skiing experience,” said captain Andrew Lavers. “She’s extremely talented. At the same time, I think she’s very level-headed and easy-going, and fun to be around.”

Ormerod decided to return to Quebec to study marketing at the John Molson School of Business. The chance to continue competing — and winning more races— didn’t hurt, either.

“It wasn’t a major factor, but it was one more thing that encouraged me to come to Concordia.”


Concordia University