The highly anticipated 2015 Canada Winter Games launched last week in Prince George, BC with freestyle skiing taking centre stage the first few days. Here’s a complete recap of the events.
Freestyle Skiing – Day 1 – Slopestyle – February 14
Slopestyle was one of the opening events at Tabor Mountain for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. British Columbia had the most impressive day winning four medals including gold via the performances of Teal Henderson and Elena Gaskell.
Patrick Dew (BC) and Rachael Karker (ON) took home silver, while Luke Lambert (ON) and Sofiane Gagnon (BC) won bronze.
British Colombia Head Coach Jeremy Cooper said his athletes were amazed with the course the volunteers managed to build despite the torrential downpour the day before and the unusual lack of snow.
Team Ontario additionally battled a rash of broken poles and other gear, but still managed to take home the remaining two medals. Performances were lead by two graduates of CFSA’s Supercoach Academy – Patrick Walsh and Saxon Giddings.
The most surprising performance of the day was from BC’s Sofiane Gagnon who normally concentrates on moguls, but took to the big jumps to support BC’s bid to win flag points. Gagnon did two new tricks in her final run to vault her from 7th to 3rd place.
Freestyle Skiing – Day 2 – Big Air – February 15
BC’s Freestyle Ski gold rush continued at the Canada Winter Games with Elena Gaskell and Teale Harle taking Big Air victories in a repeat of the double wins in Slopestyle.
At only 13 years of age, Gaskell has served notice that she is one to watch for the future. After stomping a confident first trick in the finals Gaskell decided to step it up and attempt a ‘900’ degree spin.
“The jump was in such good shape and I was having so much fun, it felt like a good time to go for it,” said the excited Vernon, BC native.
Joining Gaskell on the women’s podium was Gillian Golosky (ON) in second place and Sofiane Gagnon (BC). David Clement (AB) won silver and Dylan Marineau (AB) bronze for the men.
Freestyle Skiing – Day 3 – Moguls – February 17
Quebec mogul skiers come out on top after a competitive event at the Canada Winter Games. The medals were swept between Quebec and Alberta, with three each, however it was Alexandre Lavoie and Valérie Gilbert winning gold for les Québécois. A bronze medal was also won by teammate Catherine Brunelle.
Alberta took home two silver medals courtesy of Searik Markle and Davis Clement. Teammate Julian Rigel Kapronczai won bronze.
Gilbert won gold even though she needed to redo her run after the judges were blinded by the sun setting behind the top of the course. Gilbert’s second run, while not as strong, was still good enough for the gold.
“I was really frustrated,” said Gilbert. “But I just stayed calm and enjoyed the skidoo ride up while everyone cheered. I tried to stay as calm as I could in the situation.”
Freestyle Skiing – Day 4 – Dual Moguls – February 18
Competing in icy condition, Ontario freestyle skier Robbie Andison showed great poise at 17 to win a gold medal in the dual moguls event by defeating Quebec’s Alexandre Lavoie in the final. The podium was completed by Lavoie’s teammate Renaud Julien.
Valérie Gilbert of Quebec was the dominant mogul skier of the day once again and repeated her gold medal performance from a day earlier. Alberta’s Searik Markle won her second silver in 24 hours and Catherine Brunelle won her second bronze of the Games for Quebec. The podium placement for the women was exactly the same as that of the mogul event.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games conclude on March 1, 2015. The event returns in 2019 in Red Deer, AB.
You can follow the Games at www.canadagames2015.ca.
Photo: Giles Palmer
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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.