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B.C. athlete Elena Gaskell to compete in freestyle skiing at Beijing Olympics

The 23-year-old Vernon athlete will joining the national team after overcoming an injury
Vernon athlete is headed to the Beijing Olympic Games.

A young Vernon athlete has overcome injury to be named to the national Olympic team.

Twenty-year-old Elena Gaskell announced her good fortune Monday on her Instagram page.

"I am going to the Olympics! This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember and can hardly believe it is coming true," she wrote.

Gaskell will compete in the slopestyle and big air competitions.

She has been a member of the national freestyle ski team since 2016.

"To be honest, these past few years going into the Olympics have not been easy," Gaskell wrote. "I have battled a lot of physical and mental struggles.

"I remember back in October this year fully crying to my parents because I didn’t believe I would be good enough to make it. I dealt with injury after injury, and that takes a toll on you."

Her career highlights include being named 2018 to 2019 Big Air World Champion, a first at the 2018 Cadrona Big Air World Cup, and a third place at the 2020 Italy Slopestyle World Cup.

The Freestyle Canada website says Gaskell started skiing when she was just four years old.

She started freestyle skiing at seven as a member of the Silver Star Freestyle Club, and her competitive nature came from trying to keep up to her older brother.

Team Canada will have its largest Olympic freestyle skiing contingent ever at the Beijing Games, with 24 members.

The Games take place Feb. 4 to 20 in China.

"I can not wait for this experience. I am so incredibly fortunate. I am looking forward to sharing with you all what lays ahead," Gaskell added.

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