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B.C. woman balances skateboarding success with raising siblings


When she first picked up a longboard, Katerina Hill never imagined it would eventually change her life.

“I’m clumsy,” Katerina says. “I haven’t always had the balance.”

But she didn’t have any other vehicle, so Katerina just pushed herself around town on her board.

“Oh gosh!” she recalls thinking with a laugh. “That’s like so much better than walking!”

A couple months later, a friend sent her a video of downhill longboard racers as a joke, but Katerina was inspired.

“I was like, ‘Whoa!’” Katerina says. “I would love to learn that.”

So every day Katerina took every opportunity to teach herself to ride, before meeting a community of boarders who gave her the confidence to race.

“And it just kind of exploded from there,” Katerina laughs.

While Katerina was exploding to become the top-ranked female downhill skateboarder in the country, it felt like her family was imploding. Katerina and her younger sisters lost their dad to a stroke and then their mom died from cancer.

“When my mom passed, all my friends in the community just kind of came over to my house,” Katerina says, fighting back tears. “And [they] started helping out a whole bunch and it meant so much to me.”

Now the 23-year-old is her siblings' legal guardian. Although she spends her day balancing a full-time job with caring for 17-year-old Rose and 12-year-old Taisya, Katerina still makes time to skate.

“It helps take my mind off all the negatives,” Katerina says. “Being on my board going downhill really fast, oh man! It just feels really great.”

It’s also inspired both of Katerina’s sisters to follow her path, and start racing on street luge boards.

“That look so cool,” Rose recalls. “I wanted to hang out with my sister and she was like, ‘If you want to hang out, you got to practise.’”

The practise paid off. Now Rose Hill is so competitive in street luge, both she and Katerina have qualified to represent Canada at this year’s World Skate Games in Italy.

The sisters have launched a GoFundMe in the hopes that their family of three can attend.

Katerina is also proud that her youngest sister Taisya is becoming a formidable street luge competitor too.

But ultimately, Katerina feels comforted knowing her parents would be proud that their daughters are proving to be so united and resilient.

“If you crash in a race you've got to still get back up,” Katerina says. “Just like in life, you have your crashes, you still have to get back up and choose for life to go on.” Top Stories

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