Canadian Women’s ski halfpipe athletes had a stellar day Saturday on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado at one of the pinnacle events of the year. In a tribute to the depth and strength of the Canadian Halfpipe program, two Canadian women stood on the Superpipe podium at the XGames. Rachael Karker of Erin, Ontario finished second and Cassie Sharpe of Comox, BC took third, both being narrowly edged by Estonian athlete, Kelly Sildaru. Their success is due in large part to the excellent facilities in Calgary at the Winsport Olympic facility, which will be the site of the next stop on the World Cup tour, February 11-15. “I was really happy with how Rachael and Cassie skied today and certainly having both on the podium was a great result”, stated Trennon Paynter, the Head Coach of the program. “Having Rachael return with a podium was certainly a very positive outcome for her.” This was Rachael’s first event of the season after having to sit out the start due to injury.
In the same day in the Men’s Slopestyle event, Evan McEachran took silver while his teammate Alex Beaulieu-Marchand took 5th. McEachran moved from 5th place in qualifying to take his first XGames podium. McEachran was coming off an eventful week of training and competing in Aspen: “It’s been a pretty hectic week. A lot of skiing, a lot more than usual, so the body’s definitely feeling pretty tired and it took a lot to push on through. [Friday night] definitely didn’t go as planned in Big Air, so I had to shift my focus and get ready for Slopestyle today”, explained the 22 year-old from Oakville, Ontario. “XGames is every kid in the world’s dream, so to come here, let alone metal, is mind-blowing. I don’t think it’s really set in yet. I’m very happy.”
XGames action continues today with the Women’s Slopestyle Final and noon MST the Men’s Superpipe Final at 7pm MST.