Growing up, Emma Carpentier was surrounded by family that loved skiing. Her mother was a ski instructor who taught young children at first, then teens, and finally, adults. Her father also raced while at Brock University.
Despite learning to ski at a young age (2) at Mt Cascade in Quebec, Emma was a bit scared of skiing, and especially scared of going fast. For that reason, her parents signed her up for the Nancy Greene program at Camp Fortune Ski Club. In her first year of the program, she said, “I wasn’t able to go fast at all. In my group, everyone was down the hill before me because I was fearful of going fast. But, at the end of the year, I won the most improved skier, and that award meant a lot to me.”
After that, Emma started racing in the U14 group at Camp Fortune. As she said, “Most of the kids in my group had several years more experience than I did, but I worked really hard.” She did two years at the U14 level and then moved onto U16. In her second year at U16 she went to the Provincials and finished in the Top 30. She also joined the Ontario team that went to Nakiska (Alberta) for the Alberta Provincials.
Following that, Emma made her way onto the National Capital Outaouais Ski Team (NCOST) as a FIS athlete. In her first year on the team, she trained in Chile in the summer and the Yukon in the fall. Then, during the race season, she participated in 26 FIS races, with some impressive Top 30 results in slalom.
For her, it means a great deal to be part of the NCOST. She recalled, “When I started racing – I looked up to all the kids on the team. They trained all around the region and I was so amazed at them. I thought I could never be on the team.” After joining the team, she said, “I have so much fun. There’s so much skiing – more than I ever thought I could do in a year. I have a great bond with my coaches. Overall, I love it.”
She continued, “Ski racing is an individual sport, but only when you’re racing. When you’re not racing, having good teammates is very important. Mine are incredibly supportive. They bring a good atmosphere and we are there for each other. Everyone is always there to cheer you on. Even when it’s -40C and they don’t have jackets on – they’re waiting for me and we go up the lift together. They are always there for me, no matter what.”
In fact, Emma’s favourite part of her days is going up the chairlift with her closest friends on the team, joking around, jamming out to music.
As for why she skis and races, Emma shared, “I love the feeling of being able to carve and go down the hill effortlessly. It’s a feeling I honestly can’t describe. As for why I race, I always want to be better. I want to have better technique than the day before.”
Emma is supported by two of her teammates who go to the same high school (Louis Riel High School in Ottawa). “It helps a lot that there are a few of us on the team because we work out together to develop strength, speed and agility. Also our school is very accommodating to our schedules, which can be quite challenging.”
Looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, Emma’s goals are to lower her points. Ultimately she’d like to be at less than 100 points for each discipline. After that, she’d like to ski for a University in Quebec and make it onto the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.
In an ironic change from her first days of racing, one of her favourite disciplines is Super G because she loves the speed. She also enjoys slalom and says she may try downhill at some point in the future. In fact, one of the places she’d love to ski is The Streif – the men’s downhill course at Kitzbuhel. It is considered to be one of the most challenging downhill slopes in the world.
Beyond skiing, Emma loves horseback riding and volunteers at a farm at least once a week for 5 hours to help exercise horses and feed them. Additionally, she works with a riding program for children with special needs who are neurodivergent.
This summer Emma plans to work out a lot and study to get ahead of her courses in school. She also plans on going to Chile in August for 3 weeks to train. She’s very much looking forward to her next season of racing!
More info on the NCOST can be found here: http://ncoski.ca/