Liam Gill is about to live out his Olympic dream.

The 18-year-old snowboarder from Calgary, but who is a member of the Liidlii Kue First Nation, has been named to the men’s Winter Olympic roster and will compete in the men’s snowboard halfpipe. Canada Snowboard made the announcement on Monday morning that Gill will be replacing Derek Livingstone, who suffered a lower-body injury during a recent training run.

Gill was an alternate before getting the call-up.

“I woke up to the news and I didn’t know how to feel,” stated Gill in a press release on Monday. “I had totally given up on any hope of going and hadn’t even packed my stuff. I am stoked to be going. I have a few runs up my sleeve and really want to make it count.”

Prior to being named to the Olympic team, Gill had competed internationally for Canada at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he finished 11th in the slopestyle event and 13th in the halfpipe. He was selected to compete for the junior national team in the 2020-21 season and was named to the senior men’s team for the 2021-22 season.

Gill won his first major event in 2018 on the Nor-Am Circuit, a gold medal in slopestyle at an event in Sun Peaks, B.C. He followed that up by making his World Cup debut in his hometown of Calgary in February 2020, competing in both slopestyle and halfpipe. His career best World Cup finish was 16th in halfpipe at the stop in Copper Mountain, Colorado this past December.

According to his Olympic profile, Gill began snowboarding at the age of four and was in his first competition the following year. He apparently grew up competing in skiing and snowboarding, but by age 11 he enjoyed snowboarding more, even giving up the chance to compete in ski freeride final because he didn’t want to pass up a good day of riding his board

In the release, Livingstone stated that he was devastated to compete at the Winter Olympic but happy for his teammate.

“I’m super excited for Liam and can’t wait to watch my fellow Canadians at the Games,” he said.

Gill also said Livingstone is someone he’s looked up to.

“Derek is an idol of mine who has pretty much brought me through the past few years,” he said. “So when I thought about going to the Games I wanted to go with Derek.”

The halfpipe competition is scheduled to happen between Feb. 9 to 11.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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