Fresh off the FIS World Cup at Snowmass, USA, Canada’s slopestyle skiers competed today in the Toyota US Grand Prix, an event on the AFP circuit and a critical step in the Olympic selection process for the Canadian athletes.
Evan McEachran emerged as the top Canadian on this day with a third-place finish. The competition was somewhat different from what skiers are accustomed to. “Today was a little different from your normal World Cup, because it was qualifiers and finals on the same day… so it turned out to be five contest runs in one day, which is actually the same format as the Olympics. It is pretty cool to have been able to experience it before the Games.”
The 20-year-old skier, who already has one podium win this season – a career first for him on the FIS circuit – came close to earning another at the Dew Tour last December, when he finished fourth. He explains his strong start to the season: “This season I managed to get more consistent with the tricks I’ve been working on. I’m a lot more confident in my skiing and having so much fun with it all. I guess all of those factors put together are a good recipe for how the season has started, and I’m excited for the next event.”
With this result sewn up, the Oakville, Ontario native can now look ahead to the Olympic Games. “I feel amazing. I’m in a really good place now and pretty much all of the stress I had on my shoulders since the start of the season is gone. I can now turn to the Olympics and feel pretty confident about how it’s going to go.”
The two other Canadian athletes in the finals, Yuki Tsubota and Alex Bellemare, took sixth and 10th place respectively.
This group now has a single event left before they find out who has earned a spot on the freestyle team at the PyeongChang Games. That event is at Mammoth Mountain, California, this coming January 19 and 20 – so don’t miss it!