Snowmass hosted the world’s best halfpipe skiers this week in the third competition of the 2017/18 season. With just two events to go before the end of Olympic Games qualification period, we knew we could expect a high level of competition. And that’s exactly what we got.
Cassie Sharpe’s star shone bright again this week in Aspen, where she captured her third title of the season after the Dew Tour and the FIS World Cup in Cardrona, New Zealand.
The skier set the bar high in the qualifying round on Tuesday and continued to dominate the scene through to the final, even beating her own high score on her third run (93.20). So confident was Sharpe that she allowed herself to add a new trick on her last run down the halfpipe. “Coming into today I was pretty nervous… I was excited but nervous. My first run I landed pretty clean, I had every trick that I wanted, held my grabs. I personally felt like my second run was better than my first but the judges didn’t think so and even after that I was still sitting in first for my third run. I spoke with Trennon at the top and decided to do all my hard tricks that I have been saving up and that I haven’t debuted yet. I did my right cork 9, my left flare, right 3 into my switch cork 7 into a straight air into a left 10 which I have never done in contest before and upped my own score. I got all three scores into the nineties; it’s one of the first time that I have really felt that I deserved to be in the 90’s, so it felt really good,” explained Sharpe.
This was also the second victory in a row for the gifted athlete from Comox, BC. Her score also sealed her a spot on the Canadian team at the PyeongChang Olympic Games. She attributes this season’s success to her dedicated training regimen. “I have been really committed to training and my mental state has been really good. I still get really nervous coming into contest but I came up with my own little mantra – ‘do what you have already done.’ So when I come into a final or a qualifier, I remind myself that I have already done all of these things and I just have to put them together the way that I know that I can. Training and really putting the time in and working towards different goals has been really good for me.”
Veterans Mike Riddle and Noah Bowman turned in inspired performances in Tuesday’s qualifier, giving them a spot in the finals. Bowman, who has one World Cup podium to his credit this season, finished in fourth place, coming within a hair of the third podium step, with Bowman right behind him in fifth.
Canadian athletes’ results:
Men: Noah Bowman (4), Mike Riddle (5), Simon d’Artois (11), Brendan Mackay (37)
Ladies: Cassie Sharpe (1), Rachael Karker (10), Keltie Hansen (20), Megan Warrener (23)