The last event of this year’s World Cup season will be forever engraved in the memory of the young slopestyle skier from Campbell River, B.C., Teal Harle. He not only garnered his first podium in his World Cup career, but also placed first with a score of 92.80.
Narrowly qualifying for the finals held Friday morning in Corvatsch, Harle was one of the first skiers down the slope in the final round of 16. He had two solid runs, even improving his score in the second run, to hold onto first place ahead of some of the best competitors in the discipline. Notably, he landed his signature trick, the intricacies of which are his secret. “It’s like a double cork 10 but then you block it and land at 900 instead of 1080, so you skip the last 180. I believe it’s the first time that the trick is done in a contest run, it’s a little something that I have that is kind of unique!” said Harle.
This win comes at a good time in the season, with the World Championships just around the corner. “This gives me a lot of confidence going into Worlds. Now I know I can land my run so hopefully I can keep the momentum going,” Harle added, confiding that he was in the perfect mental space to ski at his best today. “When I feel good and I’m in a good mood, I ski better and have less stress, so I tend to do better on the slopes when I’m having a good time.”
Toben Sutherland, head coach of the slopestyle team, is not surprised by Harle’s first-place finish. “Teal really enjoys what he is doing, he is not too focused on the results. It shows when he skis that he is just having a really good time out there. He is just fun to watch,” said Sutherland. “His progression has been pretty fast, he is keeping it real. Wakes up every day and wants to go skiing and just enjoy it. At the end of the day, he skis with a smile on his face and it shows in his runs.”
Meanwhile, Alex Bellmare of St-Boniface, Quebec, placed fifth in the competition.