The Canadian Freestyle Ski Slopestyle and Halfpipe teams travel to Park City, Utah this week for their second FIS World Cup of the season.
The event, scheduled for February 25-28, will feature a total 16 Canadians. For many member of the team, this will be the first competition of this magnitude in several weeks after an abbreviated Grand Prix in Mammoth earlier this month.
The scores from qualification ended up counting as the halfpipe finals and Justin Dorey came away with the title.
“Winning at Mammoth solidified my mindset in that, when you’re competing in challenging conditions, there is an opportunity…so take advantage of it,” said Dorey. “The win at Mammoth has given me a lot of positive momentum going into theses next few contests.
Park City is known as a favourite on the tour for several athletes thanks to the great conditions and the strong crowd support.
“I’m really looking forward to Park City because they usually hold one of the best events of the year,” added Dorey. “The pipe is usually great and there’s a ton of spectators that show up, which makes it fun to put on a show.”
For slopestyle athletes like Anouk Purnelle-Faniel, a newcomer to the team, this event will mark the first one in a while for herself and her teammates.
“I’ve never been to Park City so I’m exited to see what it’s like there,” said Purnelle-Faniel. “I can’t wait to see what the skiing is like. I’m just really looking forward to competing since the Mammoth Grand Prix got cancelled. It will be special as my first World Cup too. It should be interesting.”
Many slopestyle skiers, like Alex Bellemare, will be excited to compete for the first time against a strong field since the X Games.
Bellemare is coming off an X Games slopestyle bronze medal in January – the first X Games medal of his career. He credits that performance with boosting his confidence to another level.
“Life since the X Games is exactly the same. I will admit that people think I’m a tad cooler than before with all the coverage I got in the newspapers,” said Bellemare jokingly. “I still think I’m just the same Alex Bellemare, but I am now a little more aware that I have what it takes to be a podium contender and it feels good.”
The event kicks off on Wednesday with halfpipe qualifications and concludes on Saturday with the halfpipe finals. Slopestyle qualifiers are scheduled for Thursday and the final will be on Friday.
A full schedule for halfpipe and slopestyle can be accessed.
The following Canadian halfpipe athletes will be competition in Park City:
Men – Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, AB), Justin Dorey (Vernon, BC), Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC), Noah Bowman (Calgary, AB), Kris Atkinson (Calgary, AB)
Women – Keltie Hansen (Edmonton, AB), Cassie Sharpe (Comox, BC)
The following Canadian slopestyle athletes will be competition in Park City:
Men –Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC), Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON), Reid McEachran (Oakville, ON), Taylor Wilson (Whistler, BC), Noah Morrison (Vernon, BC)
Women –Anouk Purnell-Faniel (Quebec City, QC), Nikki Blackall (Barrie, ON), Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, BC), Shondra Charbonneau (Brockville, ON – Ontario Provincial Team)
Photo: Cole Hofstra
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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.