Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, BC) and Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC) battled through poor weather and a last minute schedule change to each capture slopestyle bronze medals in La Clusaz, France.
The competition was part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals tour and is recognized as a prestigious platinum-level event.
Canadian athletes arrived in France on Sunday after recently competing in Park City, Utah last week.
However, organizers decided to merge the qualifiers and the finals into a single day after the weather forecast indicated dangerous weather conditions for Wednesday.
“Due to the bad weather we were told last night that finals would be moved to today,” said Tsubota. “We had to change our game plan and there was obviously a lot of pressure there.
“We didn’t even get to have too many practice jumps. Knowing what the course conditions would be, I decided to use one of my backup runs when I saw the course. I was happy to be able to pull it off and have a clean run. I’m thrilled with my result because it’s been a really long time since I’ve been on the podium.”
Tsubota, 21, scored 80.8 points to finish third. The event was won by 13-year-old Estonian Kelly Sildary with an 87.4 and in second place was Giulia Tanno (82.2) of Switzerland.
For Bellemare, 21, the medal continues a breakout season that has also included his first X Games medal – also a third place finish.
The podium for Bellemare was clinched with a score of 92.2 putting him right behind American Gus Kenworthy (92.6). American McRae Williams was the victor today with a high score of 93.8.
Photo: ESPN Images/X Games
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