Teen snowboarder from Nova Scotia gearing up for 2020 Youth Olympics

Not many teenagers get a lengthy break from school in January to hit the slopes in Switzerland.

But that's exactly what 16-year-old snowboarder Bridget MacLean is doing.

MacLean, a Grade 11 student at Sacred Heart School in Halifax, is the only Nova Scotia athlete on Canada's team at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, taking place in Lausanne.

"I'm really excited. It's an experience I never thought I would get," said MacLean, prior to one of her final training runs earlier this week at Ski Martock near Windsor, N.S.

"Being the only person from Nova Scotia to be going is an amazing feeling."

The two-week international event got underway this week. MacLean will take part in snowboarding events starting next week.

Submitted by Kristin d’Eon

She's one of 78 Canadian athletes among the 1,800 vying for medals in a wide range of winter sports.

MacLean has never been on skis in her life because she opted to sign up for snowboard lessons when she was six years old.

She's competed at International Ski Federation events in Canada and Europe.

MacLean also represented Nova Scotia at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.

"I definitely love adrenaline, but I'm not fearless. I do get scared on the courses sometimes," she said.

Colleen Jones/CBC

MacLean said she's excited to travel to Lausanne.

The Swiss city borders France and is located on Lake Geneva. It's also the home of the International Olympic Committee headquarters and has an Olympic museum.

MacLean says she hopes to follow in the footsteps of Martock snowboarders Alex Duckworth and Sarah Conrad, who have both competed for Canada at the Winter Olympics.