Eighteen-year-old Liam Gill, a member of the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation from Calgary, made his Olympic debut in the men’s snowboard halfpipe event in Beijing on Tuesday night.
Gill did not advance to the final, finishing 23rd in the qualifying round after completing his two runs. Each rider had two attempts to try to qualify.
The top 12 competitors progress to the final, which takes place on Thursday at 6:30pm MT.
Gill, the only Canadian in the event, stumbled on his first run, garnering him 16.75 points out of 100. His second run also ended with a fall, giving him 15.50 points.
“It was an amazing experience,” he said. “I fell on both runs but I’m so happy to be here in the first place and take this all in, and sink it all in.
“Hopefully in four years I can come back stronger.”
Initially an alternate on the team, the teenager discovered at the last minute he was headed to the Olympics when teammate and idol Derek Livingston picked up an injury and was unable to compete.
Gill is the second-youngest and only Indigenous member of Canada’s snowboarding team in Beijing.
“The amount of support and love I get is amazing,” Gill said of his First Nation.
He said his ambition is now to return for the next Winter Olympics in Italy in four years’ time.
Ollie Williams contributed reporting.