Meet your 2020 Quebec Cup champ: Tory Audet
A local teenaged cross-country skiing phenomenon has made waves on the provincial scene recently, after winning the 2020 Quebec Cup by a wide margin.
Hosted by Ski de Fond Quebec, the annual competition consists of a circuit of several races, from January to April, and involves the highest level of competitive cross-country skiers in the province. For some athletes, the circuit serves as a springboard to making Quebec’s cross-country skiing team.
This year, the event included two races in Gatineau, two in Mont-Ste-Anne, three in Sherbrooke and two more in St-Bruno. The final event was cancelled because of COVID-19. Out of nine eligible races, the final standings were determined by combining the seven best scores of each participant.
Competing in the U-16 girls’ category, Aylmer-native Tory Audet notched seven perfect scores (100.0) in as many races, finishing with a total of 700 points, almost 33 points above the second-best contestant. To give some perspective, the fifth-best racer had under 10 points less than the second-best. “Every race that she entered, she won, and she won by a significant margin,” said Audet’s father Patrick. “There were races that she was three and a half minutes faster than the next competitor.”
Winning the competition in such dominant fashion, Audet explained that the joy of winning felt significantly great, considering that she didn’t expect to come out with such outstanding results. “Through the year, I got better,” she said. “I felt better and raced harder and yeah, it feels good.” Audet credited the rigourous work she put in during the summer as an important factor in her performance, noting that she relied on previous experiences to her advantage. “We did a lot of training camps and I think that helped a lot and we did so many races leading up to the bigger ones,” she said.
As this year’s provincial champion, Audet was supposed to represent the Chelsea Nordiq Club at the Nordiq Canada 2020 Nationals Ski Championship in Vernon, B.C. Originally scheduled for March 25 to April 2, the event was also called off for safety reasons, which means Audet will have to wait another year to vie for national supremacy. Confident in her abilities to accomplish greatness leading up to the event, Audet admitted that the competition’s cancellation was quite disappointing. “I was expecting top five and hoping maybe to win it, at least a couple races,” she said.
While Audet isn’t on Quebec’s ski team yet, Patrick noted that Ski de Fond Québec’s directors have expressed interest in having her come on board, whether it’s with the competitive team or its development program. That’s where Audet hopes to be next year and, judging on the results she accumulated over the course of the winter, she’s confident that she’ll earn herself a spot on the provincial team.
As far as her long-term future goes, she envisions herself representing Canada at the World Cup stage and even at the Olympic Games. “We’ll see,” she said. Audet started skiing, alongside her father, when most kids her age were still learning how to walk. “She learned how to ski at about one and a half, two,” Patrick said.
Having raced competitively for the last four years, Audet said she loves the sport because of the social aspect it brings and the thrill that comes with doing whatever it takes to win. “I’ve just always loved the sport,” she said. “I have a lot of friends in it and I like competing.”