Loutitt, with Gwich’in roots, is new ski jump junior world champion
Alexandria Loutitt, a Nihtat Gwich’in member, is the new women’s ski jump junior world champion after victory in Whistler on Thursday.
The 19-year-old, who only just won her first title on the regular World Cup circuit, defeated nearly 50 rivals. She scored 260.7 points, ahead of second-placed Slovenian Nika Prevc on 245.8.
“Usually, when people think of Canadian ski jumping, they always think of underdogs,” said Loutitt. “But for this competition, a lot of people were looking at me as a favourite – which is a new feeling, but a nice one as well.”
Loutitt is from Calgary. Her connection to Inuvik’s Nihtat Gwich’in comes from her great-grandmother, Fort McPherson resident Laura McLeod, and her great-grandfather, Colin Loutitt.
She was part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning ski jump team at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
“Being able to win here on home snow is so special for me,” Loutitt said on Thursday in Whistler, where Vancouver 2010’s ski jump events were held.
“The 2010 Olympics is where I first saw ski jumping and decided that I wanted to do this sport. So coming here and winning is so special, and I hope this inspires future Canadian ski jumpers to keep pursuing the sport and chasing the international podium, no matter how much adversity they face.”
Loutitt lives and trains in Slovenia, home to one of ski jumping’s most passionate fan bases and a range of facilities, in part because Canada has shut down some of its own venues. Calgary’s ski jumps, which once hosted the Olympic Games, were shuttered in 2018. Whistler’s hill is only open for international competitions.
“This could be the last time I get to jump this hill,” Loutitt said. “I’m happy to come away with the win, and hope that it helps more events to continue here so the jump can be open more.”