Freestyle Canada’s men’s halfpipe team finishes off the season with a successful showing at the FIS World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. Olympian Mike Riddle led the team with a second-place finish at the final event of the season. This is Mike’s second World Championship medal; he first won gold in 2011.
At 30 years of age, Mike Riddle is a veteran of Freestyle Canada’s halfpipe team. He’s competed in five World Championships and is no stranger to the world stage. After qualifying first with a 94.60, Mike carried his momentum into the finals and stomped his second run to lock himself into second place with a score of 89.60.
“It feels amazing to be here,” said Mike. “I’m coming back from injury and I was just trying to put down my run as well as I could. As soon as I found out I was going to be on the podium, I was happy because this is what I came here to do. I’m unbelievably happy with silver,” added Riddle.
Teammates Noah Bowman, Brendan Mackay and Simon d’Artois all landed themselves within the top 10, finishing sixth, seventh and ninth respectively. This was Brendan’s first ever World Championships appearance, after taking part in his first World Cup final last week.
”I’m pretty stoked, this is World Champs but it has a similar feel to a World Cup. I didn’t feel like there was any more pressure, and it wasn’t any more difficult. It was really cool to see Mike up in second and Noah in sixth. All you can really do in the pipe is go as big as you can, execute your tricks as smoothly as possible, and that was my plan. I didn’t quite put my run down as smoothly as I would have hoped, but I was doing a new trick (alley-oop double flat spin 900) and managed to land it in my first run,” stated Brendan Mackay.
Cassie Sharpe led the women’s squad as they rolled into Sierra Nevada. Cassie came to Spain with some serious momentum after dropping a new run during the World Cup in Tignes, France, which included her switch cork 720. Unfortunately, Cassie was unable to qualify for finals. As Cassie heads into the off-season to prepare for the upcoming Olympics, motivation will most certainly be at a high.
Teammates Rosalind Groenewoud slid her way into seventh position, while Keltie Hansen and Megan Warrener finished 14th and 22nd respectively.
The season is now wrapped up for the halfpipe team. They will rest, regroup and begin preparation for the very important 2017-18 Olympic season. The team seems to have found their rhythm on the backside of this years’ schedule and will certainly be one to watch heading into PyeongChang, Korea.