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Abby Costello, 14, is a passionate Alpine skier. A member of the Muskoka Ski Club (MSC) since she was three, Costello says, “I love skiing because it is a fun way to challenge myself! I love that it is both a team and an individual sport.”
In the 2019-20 downhill ski season, Costello had great finishes in her regular season races as well as her fun but competitive races.
She finished third in her first race of the season. Continued hard work and training led to first-place finishes in her final two ski races of the regular season, both GS (Giant Slalom) and Slalom.
She also placed first for her age category in both Muskoka Ski Club’s Christmas Ski Camp race and the Club’s championships at the end of the season.
Not only did she win in her age category at both of those races, she was the fastest girl of the day on both occasions. She became the youngest club champion (U14) in the history of the club.
Bruce Howell, director of alpine experience and head coach at Muskoka Ski Club, said, “We are extremely proud of Abby’s breakthrough season culminating in her being awarded the Female Club Championship trophy. This is the first time a U14 female athlete has won this coveted award.”
Costello loved being able to set personal goals for herself and to see her hard work and improvement bring her the success she strived for. “As much as I work hard on improving my own skiing every run, I also love being part of a team and showing up to races together with my group. Skiing has taught me values like independence, teamwork, and perseverance,” she said.
Her ski coach Peter Craik said, “As Abby’s coach, it is encouraging to see she is the first on the snow and usually the last off, be it with her friends or for a training session. She absolutely loves skiing. She is fun to coach, she is quiet but behind the quiet is a dogged determination to get better and to succeed at what she has set out to accomplish. As her coach I am very proud of the success she had last season and even more proud of the challenge she has undertaken for the coming season and beyond.”
Last year, Costello’s training ski schedule took her away from school every Wednesday and Friday. She was worried about missing so much school, particularly in her final elementary year. She also was a competitive dancer but chose to focus on her skiing, a decision that has paid off. Starting this September, Costello will be attending the National Ski Academy.
“The National Ski Academy offers a perfect program where I can continue to grow as an athlete and as a student. I am excited to be going to the NSA because it will challenge me, and help to me become the best skier that I can be. Though I am very excited and a little nervous to go, I will miss skiing with my family and friends at MSC every weekend.”
Costello is grateful for all of her coaches and teammates from the Muskoka Ski Club who supported her and worked with her to help her get where she is today.
“All of us at the Muskoka Ski Club wish Abby success as she embarks on this exciting time at the NSA. Combining academics and her passion for skiing seems like a natural progression for her. We will miss Abby, she is such a quiet, tenacious and focused young lady who channels defeat and adversity into her quiet resolve of becoming a better skier,” Howell said.
“I have not yet figured out where skiing will take me in my future years,” said Costello, “so my goal for now is that I become the best skier that I can be and that I continue to push myself and improve.”
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