The Halfpipe Rodeo FIS Freeski & Snowboard World Cup presented by Aexos officially kicked off on Wednesday morning with Women’s and men’s Snowboard qualifications. The Halfpipe Rodeo also represents the first FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup in Calgary since 2011.
Women’s Snowboard qualifying went down at 10 AM, with a strong showing from the many international riders in attendance. Japan’s Kurumi Imai was the top qualifier (93.00) followed by China’s Xuetong Cai (89.00) and Spain’s Queralt Castellet (86.75). Canada’s top female finisher was 17 year old Elizabeth Hosking (Longueil, QC) who finished the day in 11th with a score of 53.00.
Derek Livingston (Aurora, ON) led the charge for the Canadian men with some impressive riding that landed him 4th in qualifying behind X Games Aspen 2019 champion Yuto Totsuka (JPN, 90.50), Patrick Burgener (SUI, 89.00), and Raibu Katayama (JPN, 85.25).
“Just having the hometown crowd here to cheer us on, the vibe is just that much better ,” said Livingston, who is coming off a 7th place finish at the FIS World Championships in Utah. “A lot of stress is relived, we’re all riding really well. The sun came out, we’re all having fun out here today.”
The Halfpipe Rodeo World Cup also served as chance to showcase local Calgary talent as Shawn Fair, Jack Collins, and Braeden Adams all got a chance to compete at a World Cup in their hometown for the very first time. Fair also barely missed out on finals, finishing 13th with a score of 62.25. Kiran Pershad, originally from Ontario but training in Calgary, competed in his very first World Cup and landed both of his runs.
“All the young guys, everyone stomped a run. It’s really good to see these guys with huge smiles on their faces and having their family come out and support them, especially here in Calgary, it’s just the best.” Added Livingston.
Men’s and Women’s Snowboard finals will take place Friday night under the lights of the Canada Olympic Park Superpipe. Attendance to the finals is free, and a full schedule of events can be found at www.halfpiperodeo.ca/en/
The schedule of family activities can be found at http://www.halfpiperodeo.