Felicity Geremia, a Springbank-area youth snowboarder who made headlines in 2023 for her medal-winning runs at the Canada Winter Games, is preparing for a new challenge that will see her competing against the best some of the best young snowboarders in the world at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Geremia will be travelling to Switzerland later in January to compete in the Snowboard and Freeski World Cup in Laax, Graubunder, Switzerland from the 16th to the 21st. From there, she’ll hop on a plane that will take her to Gangwan, South Korea, the site of the Winter Youth Olympics, where she’ll compete in the Women’s Halfpipe event.
“I'm super excited,” said Geremia. “It'll be a cool experience and I'm super excited to compete."
The Gangwan games are the first Winter Youth Olympics held in Asia–the previous three were hosted in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria. Over 1,900 youth athletes from over 70 countries will compete in 15 winter sporting events, beginning January 19 and running until February 1.
The Games have scheduled the halfpipe event for February 1; so Geremia will have a tight turnaround from the World Cup to the Youth Olympics. Previously described as a halfpipe specialist, Geremia was selected to compete in the big air and slopestyle events but had to decline the invitation to compete because the timing of those events conflicted with the World Cup in Switzerland.
Being in the spotlight is nothing new for Geremia.
Last year, the then 15-year-old won a silver medal in parallel giant slalom and finished third in the big air event at the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Unfortunately for Geremia, her preferred halfpipe event was not offered as competition by the Canada Winter Games, partly due to the Games’ host location of Prince Edward Island not having a place to build a proper halfpipe.
As testament to her skill at the halfpipe, Geremia competed in the first halfpipe world cup back in December 2022, and finished 13th among snowboards from all over the world.
Throughout 2023, Geremia accumulated points by winning or placing well in international snowboarding events to qualify for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics. The World Snowboard federation has Geremia ranked 24th in the world among women’s halfpipe athletes–the third ranked Canadian and one of the youngest on the world rankings.
“[We] try hard to keep her grounded but she’s a pretty humble kid,” said Felicity’s mother Traci. “She is supposed to be doing a lot more on Instagram, but she doesn't like talking about herself, which is [great], but it is a little harder when she gets sponsors.”
Traci said that her daughter's snowboarding exploits have made her proud, but Felicity herself has often humbly downplayed her success. In an interview last year, following her medal wins at the Canada Winter Games, Geremia said she wasn’t expecting to finish near the podium, even though she had already shown a strong finish at the halfpipe world cup and had been invited to World Rookie Tour Championship.
But like her mom said, Felicity isn't a huge fan of talking about herself. When asked what her expectations were heading into her first Winter Youth Olympics, Geremia said rather straightforwardly, “I want to put down one of my better runs.”