Robert ready for world stage

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Jonathan Robert thinks nothing about strapping on a pair of skis and heading down a mountain at kamikaze speeds of up to 130 km/h.

For the 20-year-old from Cumberland, who's been on the slopes for some 16 years, it's all about having no fear.

"Sometimes when you're going that fast and you hit some bumps, it's not the easiest thing to do," he said from his parents' home during a recent break from skiing.

"You just have to get used to it."

Robert will take that attitude to the most important competition of his fledgling skiing career -- the world junior alpine championships.

Robert, who practically grew up on the slopes of Edelweiss near Wakefield, is one of 16 young Canadians who will represent the country at the event, which begins Tuesday at Le Massif near Quebec City.

"It's the biggest level of competition for our age," said Robert, who will compete in four disciplines -- downhill, super-G, slalom and giant slalom.

The event is viewed as an opportunity for the young skiers to gain experience in world-class competition against their peers.

And because these juniors are on their home turf, it also gives the Canadian competitors an opportunity to show how they react to skiing in front of a home crowd.

It's not a minor issue, considering the next Winter Olympics will be in Vancouver in 2010.

Robert feels he has a chance to earn a spot on the senior national team next season, which would allow him to ski on the World Cup circuit.

HOPES TO BE OLYMPIAN

His ultimate goal is to compete in the next Olympic Games.

During the current Turin Games, he's been watching the alpine events intently, pulling for the Canadian skiers.

"I know it could be me one day," said Robert, who attended high school at Colonel By and graduated from Gloucester.

"I love watching it, but doing it would be great."

A strong performance at the upcoming worlds would help.

Robert hopes to finish in the top 15.

"It's a long road and there are a lot of sacrifices," he said. "I want to reach my goals, but it all depends on how much you want it."


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