Vancouver, BC – Today, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association announced the first annual Athlete Performance Awards.
The awards are a result of the renewed commitment to high performance made possible by the support given to the team by Michael Wekerle thanks to their appearance on Dragons’ Den.
“We have the best team in the world and our athletes deserve to be recognized at the end of the season for all their hard work,” said Bruce Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the CFSA. “The CFSA is not only recognizing the top female and male athletes, but is recognizing athletes who have achieved outstanding individual performances within their specific discipline as well as the male and female athletes who had an outstanding year of competition as a new member of the national ski team.
“The diversity of the awards enables the CFSA to publicly acknowledge many talented athletes on an annual basis. We hope that this will give every athlete in our program today, and in the future, another reason to keep dedicating themselves to freestyle skiing.”
Mikaël Kingsbury and Justine Dufour-Lapointe won the Male and Female CFSA Athlete of the Year Awards, respectively.
Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) had a historic season topped off by a dual moguls world title, a World Championship silver medal, the overall Crystal Globe, and seven consecutive victories on the FIS World Cup tour – a record.
“It’s an honour to be named Athlete of the Year among a very talented group of Canadians,” said Kingsbury. “I had a dream season and this is a really great way to officially finish the year. There are so many amazing Canadian freestyle skiers in our program. I feel lucky to be chosen as the CFSA’s winner.”
Dufour-Lapointe captured two medals at the World Championships this year, including a mogul gold medal and a silver in dual moguls. The Montreal native won two World Cups and was on the podium for three more to finish second overall in the FIS points standings.
“I’m really excited that the CFSA created these awards and I think it’s a great way for us to push our goals,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “Being the recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award is a privilege and feels very special. I’m grateful for this recognition. I think we will all strive higher to win this title in the future.”
A Most Outstanding Performance of the Year Award was given it to each freestyle discipline on the team.
Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC) won the halfpipe award for his gold medal victory in January at the Winter X Games in Aspen to become the first Canadian man to win the title.
Aerialist Mélissa Corbo (Blainville, QC) won for her bronze medal performance in January at the FIS World Cup in Lake Placid. The third place finish marked the first time that a Canadian woman stood on the podium since 2008.
Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC) was given the slopestyle award for his performance at the X Games in January that earned him a bronze medal.
The mogul performance of the year was given to Kingsbury, Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) and Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebone, QC) for their historic dual moguls podium sweep at the 2015 FIS World Championships in January. The sweep was the first one for the Canadian program and the first one in dual moguls history.
The Female High Performance Rookie of the Year Award was given to halfpipe skier Cassie Sharpe (Comox, BC). In her first season on the national team, Sharpe won, among other things, a FIS World Championship silver medal and a FIS World Cup.
The Male High Performance Rookie of the Year Award went to aerialist Lewis Irving (Quebec City, QC) who was crowned the Nor-Am champion this season.
The awards were voted on by a committee consisting of CFSA staff and members of the High Performance team.