Young Tofitian skier brings medal hopes, record to weekend’s BC Winter Games

Let the games begin – Tofitian skier Rein Minter is ready. Now one of the best young skiers in the Pacific Northwest, the 13-year-old first hit the slopes at the tender age of 2. He’s been competing since he was 6. He has amassed hundreds of medals in his 7-year racing career – and he has his eye on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A lack of heavy snowfalls this year on the Island hasn’t kept him from getting ready for the games, said Minter, who races for Mount

Seymour on the North Shore in Vancouver.

“With the snow, I’m more focusing on training, Pilates and running and getting to the gym,” he said.

Sharp, focused and athletic, Minter is downto-earth and affable, particularly for a young man who has that many medals and trophies on the shelf. In an interview he’s confident but humble, reluctant to brag about the skiing he so excels in, but conversant in the physics of the sport.

He raced in the Kootenays and was ranked in the top five for three years in the BC Alpine Ski Association standings.

Minter took two years off the Canadian ski circuit to go compete in the United States in the Northwestern division of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association, where he ranked in the top three for both years.

There he enjoyed America’s willingness to let younger racers compete in Super-G (super giant slalom racing), which can take skiers up to 80 kmh per hour or faster.

It meshes with what Rein Minter enjoys about the sport.

“The reason I like to race is that you just go down – it’s just the raw power of the skis and the adrenaline of doing the most dangerous sport in the world,” he said.

He spends part of the year in Courtenay to train at Mount Washington, and he participates in a home schooling program for students involved in athletics through Mark R. Isfeld school there.

Minter’s medium-term goal is to be part of Canada’s 2022 Olympic ski team.

“I’m trying to get an education out of this,” he said. Minter hopes to become a doctor, perhaps in orthopedics.

A love of the slopes is in the blood for Rein (pronounced “rain.”(He takes after his father, Tofino’s Andrew Minter.

“I love to ski, too – it’s a hands-on sport we can do together. Except for the actual races, we get to train together,” said the elder Minter.

Opening ceremonies for the BC Winter Games are Thursday at 7 p.m. at Mission Raceway Park. Almost 1,400 athletes are expected to compete.