Three Canadians earned spots on the podium competing in the halfpipe at the Difference Capital Canadian Open Championships, presented by Audi Royal Oak.
The March 5-6 event in Calgary at Winsport Canada Canada’s Olympic Park featured some of the best freestyle skiers in the world. When it was all done, local fans were able to see Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC), Cassie Sharpe (Comox, BC) and Keltie Hansen (Edmonton, AB) make it to the podium on Friday.
“It was a very strong field,” said Trennon Paynter, Head Coach of the Halfpipe Team. “We had X Games champions, World Champions, we had a lot of good athletes here. It was a fantastic final. The pipe was in great shape and the level the team competed on was fantastic. I’m definitely happy with the results. It’s good for us to be hungry for more too.”
D’Artois finished in second place for the men with a score of 94.6. The 2015 Winter X Games champion finished behind Friday’s eventual winner from France, Ben Valentin (95.6). Third went to American Byron Wells (92.00).
“It was a good day for me overall,” said d’Artois. “The pipe softened up and it was beautiful outside. I had two solid runs, including my first run and my last run. I was able to get that second place spot with my last run, so I was pretty stocked about that. Many Canadian fans came out to support us today and it was pretty awesome. We always appreciate that.”
Sharpe had the run of her life during qualification to make it into the finals. The native of Comox, BC, scored a 92.00 thanks to her first-ever career cork 9. The final did not go as smoothly, but went well enough to score 79.00 and finish in second place.
“I had a similar run to the one I did in qualification, minus the cork 9 that kind of turned into a flare,” said Sharpe. “It was a solid run, but didn’t go as well as that qualification run. I as able to land an awesome cork 9 on my third run, but I landed a little deep and wasn’t able to stand again. I’m thrilled with my performance. It’s only my third time doing that trick (cork 9), including my first time on Thursday. I can’t wait to do it at a bigger competition now. This season has been a lot of fun and has had a lot of progression. I can’t wait to keep going.”
The women’s event was won by American Devin Logan (84.40). Hansen rounded out the podium in third with a (74.2).
“I’m really excited and it’s always great to do well close to home,” said Hansen. “ My whole family is here and that makes it even more meaningful. I had all these familiar faces in the crowd. This is nice because I took a bit of a break this season. The World Championships in Austria was my first event back and this is my second one. It feels great to put down a good run and be on the podium with my teammate.”
Matt Margetts (Penticton, BC) finished in 6th place in the final (79.6), Kris Atkinson (Calgary, AB) came in 8th place (71.4) and Canadian Ty Schulte (Kelowna, BC) finished in 11th place (58.8).
Megan Warrener (Sylvan Lake, AB) was the only other Canadian to make the women’s final and she finished in 6th place with a score of 61.8.
The halfpipe team will travel on Saturday, March 7, to France for their next World Cup event in Tignes, France on March 11-12.
Full results found here.
Photo: Dave Holland
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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.