Four Canadians made the finals of the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah, a sanctioned FIS World Cup event, including three Canadian men who made the top-10.
Among them was Justin Dorey (Vernon, BC) who finished just off the podium with a score of 87.80, good enough for fourth place. Noah Bowman (Calgary, AB) finished in seventh place (82.80) and Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC) ended up in 10th (37.80).
“It’s tough finishing fourth, but I’m actually ok with it today,” said Dorey. “I wanted to get a top-five finish so that I can ensure my spot on the team next year. That was my plan and the goal coming into the event. I can’t be bummed with the result now. Gus Kenworthy probably did the best halfpipe run ever done to win the title. I think that says a lot about the day and that the skill level is higher than it’s ever been. I also did one of my best runs ever, so that’s another positive and something to be proud of.”
American Gus Kenworthy came out on top with a score of 95.60 and was followed on the podium by France’s Kevin Rolland (93.00) and teammate David Wise (90.40).
“It was a really fantastic contest and all the guys were skiing so well,” said Head Coach Trennon Paynter. “It was as high of a level I’ve seen at any halfpipe contest that I’ve ever been to. All the clean runs were just incredible including Justin’s. Overall it was a really strong performance for everyone. We have a lot we can build on from here.”
Cassie Sharpe was Canada’s lone representative in the six-woman halfpipe finals. The native of Comox, BC, finished the day in fifth place with a score of 70.80.
First place went to Japan’s Ayana Onozuka (83.60), second place to Germany’s Sabrina Cakmakli (79.80) and Janina Kuzma of New Zealand finished third (74.40).
“My day was pretty good and I think I had some solid training leading up to the finals,” said Sharpe. “It started snowing during my first lap though and that made me mess up my five and turned it into a seven. I had a little fall because of that and broke my thumb. My second lap was ok, but I really put it down on my third run. I guess it just wasn’t enough. It was a bit of a hard pill to swallow. We’re on to the next event now!”
The Canadian halfpipe competitors who did not qualify for finals included Kris Atkinson (Calgary, AB) and Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, AB) who finished 17th and 34th, respectively, and Keltie Hansen (Edmonton, AB) who finished seventh among the women.
The team now prepares for the Canadian Open Championships, an AFP Gold and FIS NorAM event hosted in Calgary at Winsport Canada’s Canada Olympic Park.
“I think it’s going to be a really fun contest with a lot of good athletes,” said Sharpe. “I think there will be a lot of fans coming out for it. That’ll make the event even more fun at a Canadian halfpipe event. It’s something we look forward to as athletes to be able to compete on home soil in front of our fans.”
Photo: Chad Buchholz/FIS
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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.