New Canadian energized by getting on the ski slopes

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Are you new to Canada and ready to enjoy winter and learn how to ski or snowboard? Our #NewSkiAB series of stories, videos and photos will inspire you to get out on the slopes with your friends and family. Use #NewSkiAB to tag us as you experience Alberta’s winters. 

You can hear the joy in Abi Guerra’s voice when she talks about her love of winter in Calgary. It’s enough to make you want to snap on your skis or snowboard.

Guerra, 29, who moved from Mexico City to Vancouver before coming to Calgary a little more than three years ago, can’t wait to get back on the slopes after recent snowboard and ski lessons at WinSport.

“Oh, I love the winter in Calgary,” she says. “We lived in Vancouver for a year, and even though many people love Vancouver, it’s not my weather. I love the sun. Who cares if it’s -16? It’s sunny. It gives me energy.”

 

Winsport Calgary Alberta NewSkiAB Snowboarding Skiing
Photographer: Karl Lee

Abi and her husband Troy take a lesson at WinSport.

Guerra recently took some of that energy out to WinSport, site of much of the 1988 Olympic Games, for her first snowboard lesson, a couple of weeks after taking her inaugural ski lesson there. She figured if so many people were getting out and enjoying winter like this, she better find out what the fuss was all about.

Learn more about WinSport’s new skier and snowboarder programs

Check out Abi's Facebook Live about her experience

“I was super-excited to try. I have seen everyone doing it in Canada.” She decided to try both skiing and snowboarding to see which one she’d like better. Although both experiences were positive, she’s decided skiing will be her go-to sport. Her husband, Troy Fyhn, meanwhile, is gravitating to snowboarding.

Winsport Calgary Alberta NewSkiAB Snowboarding Skiing
Photographer: Karl Lee

Abi and Troy are getting the hang of snowboarding during their first lesson.

Rei Aoi, her instructor at WinSport, gave Guerra the confidence to know she can do this. “She was super-patient and was a super-nice person. She kept telling me I’m doing really good.”

Aoi learned to ski in Japan and got into snowboarding in Canada. A recent addition to the instructor program at WinSport, she said teaching people new to boarding or skiing makes her happy. She says people like Guerra keep her job fun. “She did a great job,” says Aoi.

Guerra’ would like all of her Mexican friends to learn to ski or board. “I think they should all try it. Everyone should do it once in their life.”

She’s already planning her next ski outing. And Guerra’s enthusiasm for Calgary’s winters could likely be contagious.

“I feel free when I feel the fresh air on my face, and I enjoy the views of the mountains. It’s just awesome.”

WinSport Calgary Learning to Snowboard and Ski
Photographer: Karl Lee

The magic carpet takes Abi and Troy up the learning hill at WinSport

“When they get it that makes me really happy,” says Aoi, who moved to Canada from Japan in 2012. “It’s a very exciting job. You can just see … they have a hard time at first– and all of sudden they get it.”

She instantly sees the moment one of her students has put the skills together to make a turn or learn how to stop, and she says, “Yes! That’s what I’m talking about!”

Teaching is a two-way street for Aoi. She calls it a “skill exchange,” learning about people’s backgrounds and honing her English along the way. “I’m teaching but I’m also learning from everybody.”

Guerra’ would like all of her Mexican friends to learn to ski or board. “I think they should all try it. Everyone should do it once in their life.”

She’s already planning her next ski outing. And Guerra’s enthusiasm for Calgary’s winters could likely be contagious.

“I feel free when I feel the fresh air on my face, and I enjoy the views of the mountains. It’s just awesome.”

Want to take a lesson?

SnowSeekers’ #NewSkiAB can get you and your significant other or you and a buddy on the slopes for your first lessons at WinSport. Sign up today for WinSport’s private ski or snowboard lessons and up those skills and your love of winter. There are lots of spaces available for lessons until April 4.

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