Justin Dorey

Justin Dorey

Dorey refocused after Sochi ride

Vernon's Justin Dorey relishes Sochi Winter Games experience.

Justin Dorey underwent surgery to repair a nagging shoulder injury in January, 2013. A year later, he was competing for Olympic gold at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

His 12th-place finish wasn’t the result he had hoped for, especially since he led his ski halfpipe field after two qualifying runs, only to crash in the final, but the Olympic experience capped an already sensational comeback season for the 26-year-old Vernon native.

Like many of his fellow competitors, Dorey took a step back from training after the grueling season. Even with the extra time to reflect, he is still at a loss when it comes to describing his Olympic joyride.

“It was insane. I had no idea what I was in for,” Dorey told The Morning Star on a conference call earlier this month with Canadian freestyle team members Matt Riddle, Roz Groenewoud and coach Trennon Paynter.

“I still don’t really know how to describe it, but I’ll be a big fan of the Olympics for the rest of my life.”

And rather than sulk about his personal misfortune at the Games, Dorey instead rallied around his teammates and celebrated their success.

“It was really cool watching a lot of my best friends’ lives change forever,” said Dorey, who recently bought a house near Whistler. “Just watching how big of a deal that was, I was happy to be a part of it.”

He was also thrilled to be part of the historical debut of his sport at the Olympics.

“We’re very lucky, me and Mike and the rest of the team,” he said. “We came in at the time when the sport established itself. It’s definitely grown a lot. It’s been crazy.”

Dorey opened the 2014-15 halfpipe season earlier this month at the Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Colo. He didn’t reach the finals, but Riddle was ninth, and Whistler’s Simon d’Artois, another Canadian team member, was 11th.

On the women’s side, Groenewoud placed sixth.

With a slightly less hectic schedule this season, the Canadian team members have more time to replenish their arsenal of high-flying maneuvers.

“Having a little more time to work on new tricks is definitely different from last year,” said Riddle, a Sherwood Park, Alta. product who grabbed silver in Sochi behind American David Wise.

Added Dorey: “We have quite a few less contests this year, but we’re still going to be training quite a bit. We’ll have a lot of time to progress our runs.”

Riddle said he is working on something called a down-the-pipe flat 360, while Dorey plans on adding a switch flat-spin 360 to his aerial repertoire.

“It’s a simple trick, but it’s quite a bit different from anything I’ve ever done,” he said.

With a more relaxed competition schedule, Paynter is eager to see what his team can come up with to push the boundaries of freestyle skiing. Rather than place results-based expectations on his athletes, he wants them to simply keep building on what they achieved last season.

“We’re seeing a renewed focus,” said Paynter.

“They’ll have freedom to get a little more creative. These guys are getting out there and exploring ways of doing new things.

“There’s a lot of different ways things can go in our sport. I know where they’re at and what they’re capable of. They’re capable of achieving the best results they’ve already had.”

The Canadians held their first formal camp in New Zealand, in October. They’ll hold another one at the Canadian Olympic Park in Calgary as they prepare for Winter X Games, Jan. 22-25, in Aspen, Colo.

Groenewoud, a 23-year-old Calgary native who also competed in Sochi, welcomes the opportunity to train in Canada, especially her hometown.

“We spend very little time training in Canada so this is an opportunity,” she said.

Joining Dorey on the men’s halfpipe A Group (funded athletes) are Penticton’s Matt Margetts and Calgarians Kris Atkinson and Noah Bowman.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Armstrong’s Jesse Crowe, shown at the home of golf, St. Andrew’s in Scotland, has been named the Royal York Golf Course’s director of golf operations. (Facebook photo)
Armstrong golf pro soars to home course position

Jesse Crowe becomes director of golf operations at Royal York Golf Course

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
Despite additional death, COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional loss in last day

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Two North Okanagan-Shuswap rural communities, including Lumby, will receive B.C. government grants to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap communities collect government grants

Lumby and Blind Bay to benefit to help recover from economic impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and will remain a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Most Read