Two area athletes will join 49 other competitors on Team Canada for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.Ancaster’s Michael Ciccarelli is one of four Canadian snowboarders for the games which begin Jan. 13 and conclude on Jan. 22. Georgetown native Corey Gilles will join Calgary’s Carli Brockway in skeleton competitions.
Ciccarelli has big style and big goals. The 15-year-old is chasing the Olympic dream and a professional snowboarding career.
Riding since 2003, Ciccarelli has claimed a top-five spot at Canadian Nationals, the Junior Jam U.S. Open as well as a provincial halfpipe title. Riding for the Simple Snowboarding team on the slopes of Georgian Peaks near Collingwood, Ont. “Chaz” or “Mikey” also enjoys skateboarding, biking, playing ping pong or working on the trampoline.
Gillies knows what he wants in a word: success.“Gilley the Kid” cracked the top-10 last season at the Skeleton World Junior Championships and will be looking to carry that international momentum into Innsbruck. The 15-year-old lives in Calgary and competes out of the Alberta Skeleton Association. He enjoys playing hockey and golf when not at the track.
Canada’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies will be British Columbia curler Corryn Brown. Selected to play third on the Canadian curling team at Innsbruck, the 16-year-old native of Kamloops, B.C. was the skip of the 2011 Canada Games champions from B.C. She has won the past two B.C. High School Curling Championships, as well as the 2010 B.C. Winter Games.
Canada’s team of 51 athletes – along with 21 coaches and officials – will compete against almost 1,100 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 representing more than 60 countries in 13 sports. The events are the same sports which will also be represented at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.