Nihtat Gwich’in member Alexandria Loutitt has become the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup ski jumping title.
The World Cup circuit is the biggest outside an Olympics or world championship. The 19-year-old posted jumps of 98.5m and 95m to win gold at Friday’s event in Japan.
Team assistant coach Igor Cuznar said the win was “a moment we will never forget.”
Loutitt is from Calgary. Her connection to the Nihtat Gwich’in comes from her great-grandmother, Fort McPherson resident Laura McLeod, and her great-grandfather, Colin Loutitt.
“It feels totally surreal,” she said of her win in a press release issued by Ski Jumping Canada.
“It was the best feeling to see the ‘one’ next to my name. And I’m also very happy that I’m not the only strong Canadian. Our result shows that it is not just pure luck.”
From the CBC: Alexandria Loutitt’s Gwich’in roots
Loutitt helped her team to a historic bronze medal at last year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, but was competing this week for one of the first times since recovering from knee surgery and a foot fracture.
She lives and trains in Slovenia, home to one of ski jumping’s most passionate fan bases and a range of facilities. Calgary’s own ski jumps, which once hosted the Olympic Games, were shuttered in 2018.