Nelson’s Olympic hopeful keeps his eye on the prize

With the Olympics just around the corner, Sasha Zaitsoff is keeping his goals in sight as he points his skis down hill.

With the 2014 Winter Olympics just around the corner, local member of the national ski team Sasha Zaitsoff is keeping his goals in sight as he points his skis down hill.

In December, the Olympic hopeful was in Vail, Colorado for the Nor-Am Cup where he podiumed with a third place finish in Slalom. This ski was among his best results and gives him a confirmed spot in two World Cup races.

The 23-year-old L.V. Rogers grad is now in Italy skiing in the World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately, he crashed and didn’t finish a Bormio race earlier this week, reports his mother Elaine Zaitsoff in Nelson monitoring her son’s progress.

She says that Sasha is excited and nervous as the Olympics approach. Though battling a nasty cold, her son must press on.

As the season continues, Zaitsoff has to pay attention to every little detail of his races down the hill if he’s to make the Olympic team. There are four spots available per discipline — Zaitsoff’s being Slalom and GS — and 12 spots per team.

“I want to be one of those spots. I have to be the best I can be all the time,” he told the Star in an interview last fall.

This weekend the driven athlete will ski Slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland.

The fastest skiers based on results will be named to the Olympic team later this month.

Zaitsoff started skiing at a very young age with the Nancy Greene ski league in Fernie. At age 12, the budding athlete moved with his family to Nelson and he continued training with the Red Mountain Racers. The BC provincial team picked him up after his second year racing FIS and in the spring of 2011, Zaitsoff made the Canadian ski team.

The Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi starting February 7.