Storm Cabell-White bites her gold ulu on Monday, just as Liam Gill once bit into a Canada Games medal. Photo: Cynthia White
Almost a year ago, Storm Cabell-White spent a few days alongside an Olympic snowboarder with NWT roots. On Monday, Storm won Arctic Winter Games gold.
The 12-year-old – and her coach and parent, Cynthia White – say the time Liam Gill spent with NWT youth after competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was a huge factor in her success.
That’s why, asked what her ambitions in snowboarding are after Monday’s rail jam victory in Fort McMurray, Team NT’s Storm replied: “Go to the Olympics.”
“That was an amazing five days,” White said of Gill’s trip to Fort Smith’s snowboarding hill after last year’s Olympics, where the teenage Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation member had finished 23rd in his event. He and another coach spent time working with the territory’s young snowboarders at their territorial championships and a Big Fun event hosted by the town’s club.
“They were so great with the kids. You could see the kids wondering if they could one day do that,” said White.
“He was super cool,” Storm said of meeting Gill. “He did very crazy things.”
When Storm began landing 180s in Monday’s rail jam and saw her competitors weren’t performing the same move, she realized she had a shot at an ulu.
“At first, I was kind-of scared. Other people started going and then I felt better,” she said. “I started warming up.”
“All eight kids tried things that they’ve never tried before,” White said of the NWT team.
“One of our boys dropped a 360, which is a big trick for him. We had some guys combining movements on features.”
Thanking Gill for taking the time last year, White added: “I hope he comes back and spends more time with us.”