Saint-Côme, QC – The next stop for mogul skiers on the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup circuit will be on Saturday, January 23 at the Val Saint-Côme Ski Resort in Quebec. Located approximately two hours north of Montreal, Saint-Côme will host its third consecutive FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup.
In 2015, Mikaël Kingsbury stood at the top of the podium on the men’s side, while Chloé Dufour-Lapointe and Audrey Robichaud finished second and third, respectively, for the women.
“It’s always fun for our team competing here, especially with so many of us being from Quebec,” said Kingsbury. “It gives an opportunity for many of our family and friends to come watch us ski. It’s also special to be in front of a hometown crowd and potentially inspire a kid in attendance or someone watching at home who might decide that they want to do this one day like us. It’s a great way for us to promote the sport across the country.”
The location also marks a homecoming for Marc-Antoine Gagnon and his sister Alex-Anne. The duo were taught to ski at Val Saint-Côme and spent numerous years competing with the club before making the provincial team.
“I started skiing at two years old on the mountains of Val Saint-Côme, so it’s always extra special for me,” said Marc-Antoine. “I know many kids from the local ski club that are very excited to see the Canadian team in action. I think we can help motivate them and inspire the next generation of skiers. I’m also really looking forward to competing in front of my family and friends once again.”
The event is free and open to the public and will mark the World Cup debut of team rookie Gabriel Dufresne who also grew up in the area. As a kid, Dufresne decided to try out freestyle skiing after spotting the likes of Marc-Antoine Gagnon and P.O. Gagné training on mogul courses.
The 19-year-old now gets to call both of them teammates as he prepares to compete in the biggest competition of his career thus far.
“I’m very much looking forward to this event. It’s very exciting for me and my family,” said Dufresne. “This is where it all started for me. I have so many friends around town that can come watch me too now. It’s going to be special. I really like the course at Val Saint-Côme and I hope to put out a good result. I couldn’t ask for a better location to have my first World Cup start.”
A total of 19 Canadians will be competing in the event – 10 women and nine men. As hosts, Canada will receive three extra allocation spots for each gender than a country normally would.
Here is a look at the competition schedule for the event on Saturday:
10:00 – 10:30 Ladies’ Qualifications
11:55 – 13:05 Men’s Qualifications
14:15 – 14:30 Ladies’ Final (F1) (16)
14:40 – 15:05 Men’s Final (F1) (16)
15:10 – 15:20 Ladies’ Final (F2) (6)
15:20 – 15:30 Men’s Final (F2) (6)
15:35 – 15:45 Awards Ceremony
A reminder that all media that would like to attend the event must submit the following accreditation form:http://freestyleski.com/val-saint-come/media/
The following Canadian athletes are scheduled to compete at Val Saint-Côme.
Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC), Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC), Simon Lemieux (Repentigny, QC), Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC), Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC), Laurent Dumais (Quebec City, QC), Zac Hoffman (Thornhill, ON), Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC), Jordan Kober (Penticton, BC)
Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC), Andi Naude (Penticton, BC), Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC), Julie Bergeron (Trois-Rivières, QC), Valérie Gilbert (Sainte-Adèle, QC), Aimee Hewat (Toronto, ON), Clare Lambert (Calgary, AB)
World Cup team members P.-O. Gagné (Montreal, QC), Luke Ulsifer (Calgary, AB) and Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh (Quebec City, QC) will not compete due to injury. Pouliot-Cavanagh has been ruled out for the rest of the season to heal a linger lower back injury.
“Participating in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang has been my ultimate goal for many years now,” said Pouliot-Cavanagh. “All of my focus, including when in training and in competition, is concentrated on that objective. “It is important for me to rest and heal. This will hopefully allow me to avoid irritating the injury and to speed up the recovery process. I will continue to train in Quebec, and I plan on returning and being ready at full strength for next season.”
A free Community Day event will also take place on Sunday, January 24 starting at 10 a.m. where kids and fans will get an opportunity to ski with the Canadian team and get autographs.