Beijing, China – Travis Gerrits, 23, will be in a familiar setting when he competes in the opening FIS World Cup of the new aerials season taking place in Beijing, China from December 21-22. One year ago Gerrits won his first FIS World Cup title at this very same course – scoring a 126.70 to reach the top of the podium.
Overall, 2013 was a great calendar year for the Milton, ON native. Nine months prior to the World Cup podium finish, Gerrits won silver at the 2013 World Championships in Norway. Winning both medals in that calendar year was a great confidence boost in his attempt to make his first Olympic team. Geri’s would accomplish that goal and eventually finish seventh in Sochi.
“It’s really a great experience for us to be competing here in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing,” said Gerrits. “I want to show off all the hard work I did over the summer and attempt to repeat my performance here from last year. I want to get on the podium. I want to eventually make it to World’s and improve on my performance there from 2013. I want to win it.”
Gerrits will be joined in Beijing by Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, QC), Sabrina Guérin (Laval, QC) and Melissa Corbo (Blainville, QC). The competition will take place at the Bird’s Nest – site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“I think right now everyone is jumping well coming into the next four year cycle,” said Dennis Capicik, Head Coach of the aerials team. “We had a very good camp in Ruka and we had some valuable time on snow. Today was our first day of training in Beijing and I think everyone did a great job. I’m happy with how we are progressing.”
For Rochon, the 2014-2015 season will be about showing the world that he is back and healthy.
Just two years ago Rochon, now 25, was crowned the Crystal Globe winner as the best in his sport. However, 2013 proved to be a challenging year that included surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament that kept him out for 18 months. The injury also kept him from competing at the Sochi Winter Games.
“Even with all the time off I still continued to train and never lost sight of my objectives,” said Rochon. “My summers were really productive. It’s nice to be here and see one of the old Olympic sites. I’m really happy to be back and I am very excited to compete again.”
Guérin, 29, and Corbo, 24, will be looking to make an impact this season as well. Canada will be competing for the first time, along with the rest of the world, in the newly created team event where two men and one woman from each team get to take one jump individually. Scores are then compiled as a team.
“This is my first experience at a World Cup. I’m supper happy and excited,” said Corbo, who is making her World Cup debut in Beijing. “It’s super impressive being here. I had my first training session at the Bird’s Nest today and felt good about it. There’s no wind in here and I think that’s an advantage for us because we don’t depend on it for our tricks.”
“We were training in Ruka, Finland for four weeks right before coming here and I feel ready,” said Guérin. “I’ve learned new tricks and jumps. It’s also nice to have another girl on the team this year and another training partner. We all look forward to competing in the Bird’s Nest.”