September 11, 2013, VANCOUVER – As we begin the 2014 competitive season in earnest, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association announces that long-time team members Chelsea Henitiuk, Beatrice Bilodeau, Remi Belanger and Jon Vellner have decided to hang up their skis.
Mogul skier Henitiuk, 25, Spruce Grove, Alta., a 10-year veteran of the team has 43 World Cup starts to her credit including nine top-10 finishes. She also banked seven NorAm podiums, including four golds. A truly versatile competitor, Henitiuk competed in halfpipe and big air before making the permanent move to moguls in 2008. She was the Canadian big air champion in 2003.
Henitiuk counts forerunning at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics as a career highlight.
Bilodeau, 20, Rosemère, Que., took part in 11 World Cups over the course of her career and earned three NorAm golds. Little sister to Olympic Champion Alex, Beatrice has freestyle in her blood.
For their parts, Belanger and Vellner were both recruited as part of the Jump 2010 program that attracted trampolinsts and gymnasts to aerial skiing.
Belanger, an international-level trampolinist before moving to freestyle, had 15 World Cup Aerial starts and earned nine NorAm medals including four golds. His promising ski career was sidelined by a series of injuries, but he has not given up his passion for acrobatics and is coaching aerials and helping with the recruitment of new talent.
Vellner, also a former competitive trampolinst, participated in nine World Cups and earned five NorAm medals over the course of his career. He distinguished himself on the team with his positive outlook and incredible aptitude for picking up new skills on and off the hill.
The CFSA recognizes the significant contributions these athletes made to the team and wishes them all success in their future endeavors. “As an elite level athlete, you learn so much about who you are and develop many skills that will help you succeed in life. I am persuaded that Beatrice, Chelsea, Remi and Jon will benefit from those acquired skills in pursuit of new goals,” said CFSA High Performance Director David Mirota.
The 2014 National Freestyle Ski Team members are as follows, all team bios can be found at www.freestyleski.com under the “National Team” heading.