By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

ALPINE ACE  Competitive alpine skier Martin Grasic is undergoing intense training before his first season with Alpine Canada. Photo by Dan Walton

ALPINE ACE Competitive alpine skier Martin Grasic is undergoing intense training before his first season with Alpine Canada. Photo by Dan Walton

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One of the valleys most promising downhill skiers Martin Grasic has been called to represent the nation as a member of Alpine Canada.

Once you get to the national team, it really becomes everyones full-time job, he said. I really like the team; its a good dynamic. We really push each other.

Hell be joining four other skiers on Alpine Canadas development team. Earning a role with the national squad is major progress in Martins professional career, after spending the past three winters competing for the provincial ski team.

Through the BC Alpine Team, Martin etched his name onto the FIS world rankings, helping him get noticed by the national team. He improved that ranking considerably over last winter. At the start of the season, he was ranked under 500th worldwide, but after a strong 2013-2014 season, Martin brought his ranking up to 138th.

Among his five teammates from the provincial team last season, two others have moved up with him onto the national development team, which consists of just five skiers from across Canada.

Martin initially made a name for himself as a member of the Windermere Valley Ski Club before his time with the BC Alpine Team. By his final season with the provincial club, Martin was among the oldest members.

Now were the youngest guys on the team, he said. You get to be around guys like Manny (Osborne-Paradis), and those guys its more professional the level of training and accountability are more competitive.

He said that being surrounded by accomplished professionals allows him to push harder.

You can see how much more committed everyone around you is its a lot easier than training by yourself. It makes you a lot more accountable.

Now that hes a member of Canadas elite ski team, Martins next goal is to perform well at the 2015 World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships in Norway. He said the teams training hard in hopes of taking home some medals.

Im really excited, with the training weve had so far Im feeling really confident, he said.

Racing begins for Alpine Canada at the end of November, but training has been ongoing since a short break after the end of last season.

Martin said he could be training on a glacier in Austria before the end of the month, prior to training in Colorado, and onto subsequent training in Quebec or Vermont. The remainder of his pre-season will be spent training on dry land at Calgarys Olympic Park.

Martin will be working close to home in December, with a Nor-Am Cup competition taking place at Panorama Mountain Resort.

We have a couple of races in Panorama right before Christmas those are pretty big to me.

From the Windermere Valley Ski Club to the national team by age 19, Martin is on course for achieving his life goals.

Ive always dreamed of becoming the best winning Olympic medals and World Cup titles, thats the ultimate dream. I still think I can do it.

Embarking upon his athletic venture is a costly feat which requires fundraising to make it happen. Martin has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for support. The link is www.makeachamp.com/martingrasic.