Apex Mountain Resort, British Columbia, December 19th, 2016 – This past weekend, Canada’s best up-and-coming mogul athletes took to Apex Mountain Resort for the first event of the Canada Cup Series, presented by TOYO tires. The Canadian Selections are an important stepping-stone for Provincial and National Development athletes and critical for the NorAm tour qualification process.
The event was spread over two days and included two competitions. Saturday presented the competitors with cold conditions and a sunny afternoon of competition. The Canadian Selections have a unique competition format, as they offer competitors an additional qualification run. This additional run allows young competitors to gain valuable experience competing on an incredibly well-built course against a very competitive field.
Saturday made for an exciting day of competition, as three up-and-coming athletes took the podium. Valerie Gilbert led the way, clinching the top stop with a score of 78.67 in the finals. Sofiane Gagnon finished second and Berkley Brown placed third. Sofiane and Berkley, both Provincial level athletes, managed to beat out Alex-Anne Gagnon, an experienced World Cup athlete.
For the men, Canadian Gabriel Dufresne finished first with a score of 82.90, Zac Hoffman narrowly missed the top spot with a score of 82.22 in second, while Takuya Shimakawa, from Japan, rounded up the podium in third.
On Sunday, the organizing committee could not have asked for better conditions. The sun was shining and all 79 competitors made it through the course without injuries. In addition, the Canadians managed to sweep both the male and female podiums.
For the second consecutive day, Valerie Gilbert took first place with a final score of 79.29. Alex-Anne Gagnon and Berkley Brown finished second and third respectively.
Gabriel Dufresne took the top spot for the men, scoring an 82.36, followed up closely by Luke Ulsifer who scored an 81.12 and Simon Lemieux placed third.
The Toyo Cup brings together athletes from all disciplines of freestyle skiing. All athletes compete for the Toyo Cup title based on a specific ranking system implemented by the Freestyle Canada High Performance Department, which tracks their performances in these targeted events throughout the season. The Toyo Cup prize will be awarded to the top Female and top Male of a combined, overall ranking on the Canada Cup Series.