British Columbia’s Katerina Hill is known as a world downhill skateboarding competitor, but her feats balancing on the board mirror her life at home.
The young skater is the legal guardian to her two younger sisters who compete in street luge, and the family is beyond busy honouring the memory of their mom.
Hill vividly remembers the first time she ever tried downhill skateboarding.
“I was terrified. I had my arms completely out trying not to fall. Luckily I didn’t crash,” she told Global’s This is BC.
Not only has she become one of the best in Canada, her younger sisters are not far behind in street luge.
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At just 22 years of age, Katerina is now the guardian of her younger sisters Rose, 17, and Taisya, 11. Six years ago they lost their father Ralph to a stroke. Their mom Elena died last summer of cancer.
“An emotional roller coaster at the beginning,” Hill said. “My friends, when they found out that my mom was sick, they cooked meals, helped clean everything. It was really kind of them.”
All three are adjusting to a very busy life now. Katerina is working fulltime while looking after her sisters with her partners help.
“I guess the one big thing is getting them up for school in the morning,” Hill said.
All of that responsibility comes while still finding time to train for a sport that naturally made her mom a bit nervous.
“She was very worried, but she was also very supportive as well,” said Hill. “She would always tell me, ‘Make sure you’re wearing your helmet and your protective gear.’”
The Hills have set up a GoFundMe to try and get to the World Championships next month in the Philippines so the two older girls can compete.
“It would be nice to do it with my sister,” Rose Hill said. “I didn’t know I was going to make it.”
It would be Katerina’s second trip to an event featuring the very best the world.
“My mom was so proud the last time I qualified. She was telling everybody,” Hill said. “I would think she would be really happy right now.
“Just being able to represent Canada means a lot to me. I just feel really blessed to have this opportunity.”
To contact Jay Durant with a story idea for This is BC, email him details and contact information at [email protected].
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