(ISN) – Heading into the New Year, our teams are heavily focused on the 2015 World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria. We’re expecting standout performances from our veterans and up-and-coming athletes.
The Canadian slopestyle team is coming off a strong camp in Whistler, where the nation’s best trained in preparation for FIS World Championships as well as Air and Style Innsbruck and X-Games. Mikey Ciccarelli and Darcy Sharpe are two of our young, talented slopestyle athletes. They’ll be representing Canada for the first time at the World Championships. Mikey started the season off strong with a ninth-place finish at DewTour, while Darcy Sharpe dominated in New Zealand, where he finished second at the Burton High Fives. The young slopestyle duo is certainly going to turn some heads in Austria.
Jenna Blasman and Brooke Voigt will lead the ladies in Austria. Jenna has greatly benefited from the recent jump camps in Whistler, where progression was at an all time high. Recognized for having strong rail tricks, she’s been working with Chris Witwicki and Elliott Catton on a few new jump variations. Look for Jenna to integrate these new 540’s and 720’s into her World Championship run. These news tricks are the same maneuvers that were executed in podium runs at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
”I would be very frustrated with myself if I didn’t integrate a backside 720 into my run at World Championships. I have put so much hard work and energy into progressing that it only makes sense. That being said, anything can happen on competition day and usually mother nature gets to call the shots” said Jenna Blasman.
The snowboardcross circuit has been plagued with a slow start to the season. With the European resorts struggling to find snow, they’ve had multiple World Cups cancelled. Led by Dominique Maltais and Kevin Hill, the team will make their way to Austria with high expectations. Look for Kevin Hill to step up and guide the rookies through their first World Championships with the recent departure of longtime veteran Rob Fagan.
”Rob played a big role when I started on the team, showing me the ropes and always being there for me when I wanted to know what was the fastest line. I hope that I can be there for the new up-and-coming kids and kind of play that big brother role with them like Rob did for me” said Kevin.
Halfpipe athletes Derek Livingston and Calynn Irwin will be heading to the World Championships with a renewed sense of confidence. New coaching and a Colorado based training program have already shown positive effects. Look for Derek to once again integrate his cab double 900 in his run. With the addition of this trick, the technical difficulty of his run will escalate and allow Derek to rival the best halfpipe riders in the world.
”Heading into World championships I feel pretty good. I’ve been working with our new coach Ben for the last week and getting prepared for World Championships. I’ve never been to Austria, so I’m super excited to compete somewhere new!” said Derek.
Veterans Caroline Calvé and Jasey-Jay Anderson will spearhead the alpine team. Both athletes had incredible starts to their seasons. Calvé placed second in the seasons first World Cup in Carezza, while Jasey-Jay finished third. With proper mentorship this could also be a breakout year for a few young alpine athletes.
In celebration of the Canadian Year of Sport, our teams have been in intense preparation for the year’s biggest event, the FIS World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria. Through our team’s success, we hope to continue to build awareness surrounding competitive snowboarding programs in Canada, continue to promote the health benefits related to physical activity and our sport, but most importantly, fuel our nation’s pride!