One year to the day before the biggest international event in amateur sports, the moguls and aerials skiers of Canada’s freestyle team will undergo the test events for the 2018 Olympic Games at this weekend’s FIS Freestyle World Cup. This is an opportunity for the Canadian skiers to familiarize themselves with the venue, the facilities and the courses that will be the focus of the world’s gaze one year from now.
“The test events allow the athletes to get to know the facilities, the courses and a host of other tiny details, such as the time from top to bottom of the course,” said Marc-André Moreau, High Performance Director for moguls and aerials. “For us, it’s also an opportunity to run teamwork simulations ahead of the Olympic Games and to gather as much information as we can to make our work is easier a year from now.”
Bokwang: Test event and Olympic qualification
The World Cup stop in Bokwang is one of four competitions, along with Lake Placid and Deer Valley, which grant just three athletes a provisional spot to the COC based on their scores. The final event that allows them to qualify for the A team is the FIS World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, which will be held in March. To be selected by this method, the athletes must earn at least two podium spots in the freestyle ski events. When all is said and done in Bokwang, some athletes will have qualified, conditionally, for the 2018 Olympic Games.
Moguls skiers: a stellar showing in Deer Valley
The moguls team heads to Bokwang after earning six medals in the Deer Valley World Cup. At the top of the current FIS World Cup rankings is Mikaël Kingsbury, who led the Canadian team by taking two gold medals in men’s single and dual moguls events in quick succession. Along the way, he broke the record for FIS World Cup career medals previously held by Edgar Grospiron (now at 58). Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Philippe Marquis both placed second in the singles events, while Andi Naude and Marc-Antoine Gagnon earned silver medals in the dual moguls events.
Aerials freestyle skiers ready for Bokwang
After the training camp in Lake Placid in preparation for the Deer Valley World Cup, the aerial athletes are now more than ready for the Bokwang test event. Canadians seem poised to step up on the podium, as they have clinched positions in the top 10 of the general ranking since the beginning of the season. Moreover, Olivier Rochon finished just a few points shy of the super final in Deer Valley after landing a beautiful back full double full full in the qualification round.