Austin White:

  • At what age were you introduced to sport and how? What has your sport journey looked like, and how has that fit in with finding balance in your everyday life?

I settled on Snowboard cross to pursue most competitively as a total fluke. I was 11 years old racing one of my first races in a 14 years and under category, and every person in front of me crashed in all of my heats and I ended up winning my first provincial race. As a little kid racing the big kids, I was stoked, and that spiraled into snowboard cross dominating my life for the next 10 years. As for cross country running, I began to get serious with it during my first year of university at UBCO with the Heat team, and balanced snowboard cross with cross country for the first 3 years. I decided last year to make the full commitment to my academics and cross country, and ultimately close out my snowboarding career. However, I still help coach the BC Snowboard Cross team at some events and camps, and continue to let snowboarding play a dominant role in my life.

  • Do you have a local hero or sport hero in general?

I really look up to my teammates on the UBCO cross country team. Everyone is there to support one another, they consistently show up to hard workouts, and they put in the effort to support the team in any manner they can. It’s something I truly respect and I’ve tried to take that team mentality into all aspects of my life.

  • What sports have you played, and how has being a multi-sport athlete impacted your growth as a person and athlete?

Pretty much anything my parents would let me do. BMX racing, soccer, snowboarding, mountain biking, dirt biking, curling, golf… I honestly couldn’t even name them all. I’ve been extremely fortunate in that regard and I don’t take it for granted. Of course, snowboarding and XC running were my main sports for the last 4-5 years, but in another 5 years’ time maybe there’ll be a new sport on that list. Balancing the 2 competitive seasons with university and part time jobs really made me value time management skills and stress management, being able to stay relaxed under pressure. I know it sounds like a broken record for every student athlete, but it’s honestly the truth, and I’ll be able to take those 2 skills everywhere I go.

  • What is a challenge you’ve faced (in or out of sport) where you used sport as guidance?

Studying and academics in general. It sounds kind of geeky, but I think of studying in the exact sense I think of workouts. For example, giving your mind some rest and recovery after a lot of studying is the same as giving your body some rest after a hard workout. It goes a long way in being able to stay alert and to retain what I’m trying to learn.

  • What words of advice would you give to your high school self?

Enjoy the process. Again it sounds like a cliché, and I love being at the forefront of my goals just as much as the next person, but there’s something about the hard grind towards achieving those goals that make it so much more worthwhile. Showing up with the guys day in and day out, taking the losses with the wins, putting in the work when you don’t want to. That’s what builds memories, connections to others, and makes achieving your goals so much more worthwhile.

  • How has being an athlete in the Okanagan been impactful for you?

The Okanagan has provided the opportunity to let me be where I am today. You can’t deny that it has everything you could ever want in sports, there’s facilities for everything from skiing to surfing to cycling to golf and more. The community is extremely supportive, and is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to compete at the level I have.

  • Lastly, what does your current life look like, and what are your goals and aspirations for your future? (tehe brag about your award and studying for MCAT lol)

I’m currently training full time for my final XC running season with the UBCO Heat. With the world where it is, it’s unsure whether we will be able to host a season, however I want to be as prepared as possible for whatever it shapes out to be. I’m also studying to take my MCAT in a few weeks and apply to medical schools to start once I graduate this year with a Bachelor’s in Human Kinetics. I’m wrapping up my degree doing research in the Center for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health at UBCO through the Undergraduate Student Research Award, where I’ll be finishing a study I started last year looking at a new method of measuring the diameter of cardiac arteries using doppler ultrasound. As I’m finishing the publication of this paper, I’ll “hopefully” be hearing of my acceptance into medical school, where a new chapter will begin!