Travers, 14, speeds to unique Whistler Cup glory


Skiing prodigy Dean Travers has
pulled off another amazing victory, this time at the International Whistler Cup
in Canada.


 the site of the 2010 Olympics in Whistler,
near Vancouver,the 14-year-old speedster, younger brother of Cayman’s first
Olympic ski racer Dow Travers, took on the might of the Austrian, Italian,
French, US and Canadian ski teams together with teams from 22 other countries
in the Junior Men’s Super G, the premier speed event of the weekend’s races.

Ninety-two racers aged between 14 and
16, all champions in their home countries, competed on Friday. Coached now by
former World Cup racer and US Olympian Zake Zemanski, Travers worked hard to
generate greater acceleration in the turn off his 205cm Atomic race skis.

The results startled the
competition. Starting in 13th place as a first seed, Dean attacked the time
laid down by the top US skier Ryan Mooney who had finished in 1 minute 04.87
seconds from the first fall away straight out of the gate.

He skied his characteristic
straight line fearlessly, accelerating off the steeps and carrying speed
clocked at 62mph over the flat sections. But unlike the problems that had
bedevilled him on the flats in the USSA Downhill championships in Whistler
recently, his technique held and his speed increased.

Travers was in fifth place at the
first split, second at the second split and then blazed over the final steep at
the acutest of angles  and held a perfect
line to the finish beating out Mooney by 26 hundredths of a second to take the
gold medal.

The tension mounted as the much
larger and more powerful Austrian, Canadian and US racers attempted to beat his
run but none could and to the astonishment of the huge crowd at the medal ceremony
for the first time ever in an international ski race competition it was the
Cayman Islands flag which took pride of place on the podium.   

Dean’s proud dad Anthony said:
“It’s caused a huge stir here. It’s one thing to have a Jamaican bobsled team,
it’s another thing to take the gold with it.”

Dean raced in the slalom on Saturday and the
giant slalom on Sunday.