A Goderich-based cross-country skier with ties to the Collingwood area is about to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime.
17 year-old Andrew Avis is one of just nine skiers across Canada to be selected to attend the Callaghan Valley National Development Centre in BC starting in July.
He tells Bayshore Broadcasting Sports he got into the sport a few years ago when one of his high school teachers introduced Nordic skiing to Goderich District Collegiate.
He says the start of the course coincided with a hockey injury in which he broke his leg.
The next year he broke his arm playing hockey and didn't get much skiing in.
Even though he didn't like cross-country at first Avis says his mother suggested he stick with the sport at the Highlands Trailblazers Club in Duntroon.
Avis says it took him some time to warm to cross-country but now he says he can't picture being involved in any other sport.
He was ranked fifth at the Junior Boys' level in Ontario last season and qualified for the Ontario Development Team.
Avis says when the offer came from Callaghan Valley he had just 12 hours to make up his mind -- saying the decision was tougher for his parents than it was for him.
Included in his course at Callaghan Valley will be altitude training in the Salt Lake City area and snow training on the Haig Glacier in Alberta.
Avis currently trains for more than 600 hours per season and has his sights set on a shot with the Canadian Olympic team in 2018 and 2022.