Canada skied to two bronze medals today at the Winter X Games Aspen 2015. Third place titles were won in both the men’s and women’s slopestyle events by Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC) and Dara Howell (Huntsville, ON) respectively.
For Bellemare, the podium finish marked the biggest win of his career and came in only his second X Games. Bellemare placed fourth at his only other appearance in 2013.
“It was such a relief when I won,” said Bellemare who missed last year’s competition due to injury. “I knew I was in third place and I just had to wait it out until everyone finished their run. I’m thrilled with how things turned out. I was really focused on my rails today. They are my specialty and I nailed them. I had a good day overall and am really happy with performance. It’s my best result to date.”
Bellemare finished the day with 85.66 points. American Nick Goepper finished first with 93.66 and his teammate, Joss Christensen, finished second with 90.66.
Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Quebec City, QC) was scheduled to compete in the eight-man final, but pulled out due to injury. Beaulieu-Marchand will finish ninth overall. Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON) , the youngest member of the Canadian slopestyle team at 17, finished in 14th place.
For Howell, the bronze was her third medal at the X Games to compliment her third place finishes from 2013 and 2012.
“My skiing was good today even though I didn’t have the greatest sets of training (before the competition),” said Howell, the 2014 Olympic gold medallist. “I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. I went into practice this morning with an open mind and it started to click. It felt like gold to me to get that third place medal.
Howell achieved a score of 82.00 on her third run to win the bronze. Sweden’s Emma Dahltström had the highest score of the day at 90.33 and American Keri Herman followed her with an 86.66.
Two other Canadians competed in their first X Games. Nikki Blackall (Barrie, ON) finished 5th (64.66) and Anouk Purnell-Faniel (Quebec City, QC) came in 6th (57.00).
“It was a great experience and I learned a lot,” said Purnell-Faniel. “I was pretty nervous. Nothing compares to being here. It’s a massive event. It was even better being here than I would’ve expected.”
The X Games conclude tomorrow with the men’s SuperPipe finals. Canada will be represented by Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, AB), Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC), Noah Bowman (Calgary, AB). The action starts at 2:45 p.m. MT and 4:45 p.m. ET.
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For more information, contact George Fadel.
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The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is the governing body in Canada for the sport of Freestyle Skiing. With the support of its valued corporate along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the CFSA develops Olympic and world champions in all disciplines of the sport.