Pemberton’s Brenden Kelly won his first nationals title in Dual Moguls on the slopes of Marmot Basin in Jasper last spring in the final event of the Canadian Championships Series. Brenden Kelly is a current member of Freestyle Canada and is a Canadian athlete to follow this season.
Home Club: Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club
Home Town: Pemberton, British Columbia
Current Team: Canadian National Men’s Moguls Team
Sponsors: Hart Japan, Megatech, Smith Optics
2017/18 Toyo Cup Ranking: 2nd
Brenden Kelly started skiing at the age of three. His father, Stan Kelly, put him in the local ski program at Whistler Blackcomb. Growing up around Whistler, Brenden says that everyone starts skiing around the age of 2-4 so it is just the thing to do.
At the age of 11, Brenden was given the choice of either joining the race program or joining the freestyle team. Brenden decided that since there were no jumps in racing that he would try moguls. His coach at the time, Marc Mcdonell, got him hooked. Marc started a program in which his athletes could skip school on Fridays to train. It was at that point that Brenden realized he had a real opportunity to pursue the sport competitively.
At the age of 16 Brenden was invited to join the Canadian Sports Institute Mogul Team. It was there that his coach, Bobby Aldighieri, focused his goals and energy on making the Canadian Team. In only two short years he took Brenden from a young, distracted, teenager and helped him find happiness with the process of freestyle skiing.
In the summer Brenden works at Whistler Blackomb by maintaining the ski runs and in the winter he also works part-time in the retail stores. On weekends in the summer he really enjoy riding his bike in Pemberton, where you can do some of the best cross country biking in Canada.
Brenden is also an avid musician. He plays piano at home and jams on the drums with friends. Brenden is always looking for new music on his computer and likes to trade music with some long distance friends online.
Brenden also credits his family for all the they’ve done for him and supporting his dream since the age of 12. Brenden acknowledges that his parents work incredibly hard and don’t always get to watch him compete, but he realizes that without them he wouldn’t be where he is today.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR SPORT THAT YOU LOVE (WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR FREESTYLE DISCIPLINE)?
I really enjoy the challenge of mogul skiing. When people think about our sport, they only see a bunch of bumps with a couple jumps in the middle, but what they don’t understand is that every aspect is different from course to course. The top section may be steeper, the jumps might have a different shape, or the middle section may have more moguls. Every week we face a new challenge and it keeps things fresh and exciting for me.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER INTERESTS/PASSIONS BESIDES SKIING?
I am really into music. I play piano and drums and have done some productions with my friends and fellow skiers. It’s a great way for me to relax and take my mind of skiing. I also mountain bike in my home town of Pemberton and spend a lot of time at the lakes around town.
WHAT WAS YOUR TOP RESULTS FROM LAST YEAR AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
1st in Canadian Nationals Dual Moguls
11th at the Calgary World Cup in single moguls
3rd at the Killington Nor-Am in single moguls
These results all came from taking a step back and focusing on my process. I try very hard not to ski with the intent of getting good results. I find it very difficult to focus on my event when I’m already thinking about how a good result may affect me. It’s a constant mental battle, but I find I ski my best when I’m not concerned with my finish position and my focus is put on my skills and what I know I can do on my skis.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PHYSICALLY PREPARING FOR THE UP-COMING WINTER SEASON?
Gym and on-snow training with my team. I also work full time between training camps so I am forced to do most of my gym sessions at night after work. It makes me get good rest each night.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN MENTALLY PREPARING FOR THE UP-COMING WINTER SEASON?
Trying to focus on developing my skills and focus on consistency in my training. This gives me a lot of confidence when I know I can land my run 98 times out of 100. It allows me to focus on improving my skiing and not just on how fast can I make it to the bottom.
HOW MUCH SKIING DO YOU DO IN THE OFF-SEASON AND WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU HAVE GONE?
I’ve done the math and I think we do something like 125 days of training between the months of May and the end of November. Lots of skiing! My favourite place to ski is in Zermatt, Switzerland. I’ve been there six times now in my life and will go again this year. We travel there for early season training in October and meet up with almost every other national team in the world. I think it’s an incredibly valuable training camp. We get to evaluate the other skiers from the other countries while at the same time enjoying the amazing European food and landscapes.
WHAT ARE YOUR COMPETITIVE SKI GOALS FOR THIS NEXT SKI SEASON?
I would like to continue improving on my World Cup results. I would like to make some World Cup finals out of country (top 16) and make a top-10 on the World Cup Tour.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR SKI CAREER?
I would like to be an Olympian.