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News > Updates from our ONs > Ben Wilkinson Class of 2009

Ben Wilkinson Class of 2009

We were very excited to discover that ON Ben Wilkinson coached the Canadian Ski Cross Team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
On Ben Wilkinson, Class of 2009
On Ben Wilkinson, Class of 2009

It was lovely to be able to reconnect recently with ON Ben Wilkinson, Class of 2009, to hear his news and find out more about his coaching career.

Ben's news - July 2022

It seems an eternity ago that I left Adams and a world away.

I left Adams in 2009 at the end of Upper Sixth. My greatest memories were playing rugby at Longford Hall, especially playing for the first XV and travelling to Australia and Singapore with the team for a very successful series of matches!

When I left, I planned on taking a gap year before going to UWIC to study Sport Coaching with the long-term goal of wanting to be a PE teacher. Needless to say, some things never change and I’m on gap year number 13… 

In my first couple of gap years, I worked as a Private Ski Instructor in Whistler, BC Canada where I discovered my passion for the ski industry and living in the snow-covered Mountains.

My first breakthrough into coaching came at the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) working with a group of athletes from age 10 through to 15.

In 2017, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to become the Head Coach of the Alberta Ski Cross team. For the first year, I spent the winter as sole coach, travelling around North America with 16 athletes Navigating the Nor-Am Cup scene while learning very quickly how best for my athletes to get results and ultimately make the Canadian Ski Cross team.  By the end of the first season, 2 of the athletes on the team qualified for the Canadian team.

Between my work at the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and Alberta Ski Cross Team, I referenced back to my experiences with my coaches at Adam’s Rob Mulhern and David Tozer, and I continue to carry the life lessons these two gentlemen showed me, the respect and dedication they gave to me and my fellow teammates resonates strongly and I can say 100% they helped shape me into the person I am today. 

Since 2019 I have been coaching the Canadian Ski Cross Team. Travelling across the Globe for training camps and the World Cup race season. Covid was a huge impact on our team as the Ski Cross World Cup continued and we could not return home. Living on the road in Europe for six months with 30 people takes its toll, not to mention the Covid test every three days. During the Winter of 2020-2021, I had 63 Covid tests!

In December 2021, I was notified that I had been selected to coach the Canadian Ski Cross team in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Going to the “Covid Olympics” as they soon were named was always going to be different. When we arrived in China we were in a bubble, we didn’t see or speak to a single person outside of the Olympic bubble, we competed and returned to the bubble daily. When we did eventually leave the Canadian Olympic village we boarded a bus straight onto a railway platform to take a train to the “birds nest stadium”  for the closing ceremony.  

The Olympic experience, whilst a little weird due to COVID, was amazing.  The Team spirit and genuine support for fellow competitors was there, even though in race they wanted that win: the coaches from around the world all working together, supporting but again wanting that podium for their team; everyone swapping the Pins of their country with others from around the world; and the amazing national team uniforms and gear supplied to us all. (Our Uniforms were designed and supplied by Lululemon and those Canadian flags you may have seen us all carrying were concealed inside the collars of our jackets)  The release of pressure, the joy and the happiness at the closing ceremony will always be with me.

My career thus far has brought me so many great experiences and opportunities to learn and develop both my skills and myself as a person. From my days at Whistler Mountain Ski Club, the athletes I coached have all gone on to higher education and have continued ski racing in university. At the Beijing Olympics, one of the athletes I coached at Alberta Ski cross was on the Canadian Olympic Team with another athlete on the team winning a 2nd Olympic medal to accompany her gold medal in 2014.

As I write this I have taken a quick break from preparing for our first preseason training trip at the weekend. This time we are heading to Norway. There is a lot of training to be done and races to be won before the Milan-Cortina Olympics in 2026.

I may never have gone to University and got that degree but Adams gave me the life lessons and strength of character that has allowed me to live my best life, coaching and skiing around the world and playing golf in my downtime I am forever indebted.





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