WMSC athletes go on to achieve great success. Some graduate to ski for BC, others earn ski scholarships to colleges and universities, others become coaches and instructors and still others succeed in endeavors outside of skiing. This is a place to capture and share these achievements and stay connected with your former ski-racing colleagues. If you have news on alumni, however big or small, please send to this e-mail and we’ll post it.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Alpine Prospect Group athletes named
CALGARY, ALTA. (May 18, 2012) – Twenty-two of Canada’s most promising young skiers were named to Alpine Canada’s Prospect Group identified athletes list on Friday.
Eleven men and 11 women from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are featured on the list.
“Congratulations to all the named athletes from the various provinces,” said Paul Kristofic, Alpine Canada’s vice-president of sports. “This group represents identified talent on Alpine Canada’s radar. We will be following their progress throughout the 2012-13 season and wish them the best of luck.”
Ladies’ Prospect Group identified athletes
Tianda Carroll 1993 Jasper, Alta. Alberta Ski Academy Alberta Alpine
Candace Crawford 1994 Toronto, Ont. Georgian Peaks Ski Club Alpine Ontario
Sarah Elliot 1992 Oyama, B.C. Big White/Kelowna Ski Club B.C. Alpine
Sarah Freeman 1992 Pincher Creek, Alta. Fernie Alpine Ski Team B.C. Alpine
Stéphanie Gould 1994 Gatineau, Que. Club Mont Ste Marie Ski Québec Alpin
Valérie Grenier* 1996 Mont-Tremblant, Que. Club de Ski Mont-Tremblant Ski Québec Alpin
Natalie Knowles 1992 Toronto, Ont. Osler Bluff Ski Club Alpine Ontario
Stéphanie Marcil 1992 Montreal, Que. Club Mont Ste Marie Ski Québec Alpin
Roni Remme* 1996 Collingwood, Ont. National Ski Academy Alpine Ontario
Julia Roth 1993 Waterloo, Ont. Devil's Glen Alpine Ontario
Mikaela Tommy 1995 Wakefield, Que. Club de ski Edelweiss Ski Québec Alpin
*Athletes selected via coaches’ discretion
Men’s Prospect Group identified athletes
Jeff Bell 1993 Calgary, Alta. Calgary Alpine Alberta Alpine
Morgan Megarry 1993 Toronto, Ont. Craigleith Ski Club Alpine Ontario
Robert Overing 1993 Rothesay, NB Poley Mountain Racing Club NB Alpine
Philippe Rivet 1992 Saint-Lambert, Que. Club de ski Sutton Ski Québec Alpin
Andrew Solomon 1992 Toronto, Ont. Alpine Ski Club Alpine Ontario
Chris Steinke 1993 Gatineau, Que. Club Mont Ste Marie Ski Québec Alpin
William St. Germain 1992 St-Férreol-les-neiges, Que. Club de ski Mt-Sainte-Anne Ski Québec Alpin
Ford Swette 1993 North Vancouver, B.C. Whistler Mountain Ski Club B.C. Alpine
Broderick Thompson 1994 Whistler, B.C. Whistler Mountain Ski Club B.C. Alpine
Simon-Claude Toutant 1991 Val Saint-Côme, Que. Club de ski Val Saint-Côme Ski Québec Alpin
Tyler Werry 1991 Calgary, Alta. Fernie Alpine Ski Team B.C. Alpine
May 10, 2012
2012-13 Canadian Alpine Ski Team unveiled
CALGARY, ALTA. (May 10, 2012) – Twenty-nine athletes were named to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team on Thursday as Alpine Canada continues its preparations for the 2012-13 World Cup season and the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Calgary’s Jan Hudec – the top-performing Canadian alpine racer on the World Cup circuit in 2011-12 – is part of a strong speed squad that includes Guay, Kucera, downhill sensation Ben Thomsen, of Invermere, B.C., returning star and three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Vancouver, B.C., plus Robbie Dixon, of Whistler, B.C., who came agonizingly close to his first podium with a fourth-place finish in super-G in Beaver Creek, USA, in 2011.
Michael Janyk, of Whistler, B.C., Julien Cousineau, of Lachute, Que., and Calgary duo Brad Spence and Trevor White lead an experienced slalom team, while Jean-Philippe Roy, of Sainte-Flavie, Que., returns as the team’s giant slalom specialist. Overall Nor-Am champion Erik Read, of Calgary, is one of several talented youngsters on the men’s squad, which also includes national team newcomers Trevor Philp, 20, of Calgary – a student at the University of Denver who is a former member of the Raymond James Alberta Ski Team – and Whistler’s Conrad Pridy, of the B.C. Ski Team. Pridy, 23, is the older brother of fellow national team member Morgan Pridy, 21.
“Trevor (Philp) was a named prospect athlete and he showed he’s an amazing talent,” Kristofic said of the 2012 Canadian slalom champion. “We are working with him to balance school in the U.S. and starting to race in the World Cup. Conrad is a great story of an athlete who fought his way from invitee status to full-time status. For him, building consistency will be the key.”
Philp is looking forward to completing the step up to the national team after making his World Cup debut in Adelboden, Switzerland, in January.
“I’m very excited,” said Philp, who is currently wrapping up his school year in Denver. “The plan is to come to Calgary in June and start working out. I’m very pleased to be joining the Canadian team.”
On the women’s side, veteran speed stars Kelly VanderBeek, of Kitchener,Ont., and Larisa Yurkiw, of Owen Sound, Ont., will continue their comeback from long-term injuries. Newcomer Elli Terwiel, of Heffley Creek, B.C., a student at the University of Vermont, made six World Cup starts last season and was crowned the overall ladies’ Nor-Am Cup slalom champion.
“We have two new podium athletes on the women’s side so it’s important to keep the momentum going,” Kristofic said of Mielzynski and Gagnon. “For them, as well as Ben Thomsen on the men’s side, it’s the first time they are going into major events as podium contenders. It’s great timing to have a big event like the world championships this year so they can learn to deal with that kind of pressure before Sochi 2014.”
The 2012-13 FIS World Cup season is due to get underway in Sölden, Austria, at the end of October. The 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are due to be in held in Schladming from Feb. 4-17, 2013.
Men’s Canadian Alpine Ski Team:
(Athlete, Hometown, Ski Club)
Philip Brown, Toronto, Ont., Craigleith
Dustin Cook, Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que. , Mont-Sainte-Marie
Julien Cousineau, Lachute, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Robbie Dixon, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Erik Guay, Mont-Tremblant, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Jan Hudec, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Michael Janyk, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
John Kucera, Calgary, Alta., Calgary Alpine Racing Club
Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Trevor Philp, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Conrad Pridy, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Morgan Pridy, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Erik Read, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Jean-Philippe Roy, Ste-Flavie, Que., Mont-Comi
Brad Spence, Calgary, Alta., NATC/Panorama Ski Club
Ben Thomsen, Invermere, B.C., Windermere Valley Ski Club
Andy Trow, Canmore, Alta., Sunshine Ski Club
Trevor White, Calgary, Alta., NATC/Fortress Alpine Ski Team
Sasha Zaitsoff, Queens Bay, B.C., Red Mountain Racers
Ladies’ Canadian Alpine Ski Team:
(Athlete, Hometown, Ski Club)
Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Lac-Etchemin, Que., Mont-Orignal
Madison Irwin, Toronto, Ont., Craigleith
Madison McLeish, Whistler, B.C., Alberta Ski Academy
Erin Mielzynski, Guelph, Ont., Georgian Peaks
Brittany Phelan, Mont-Tremblant, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Marie-Pier Préfontaine, Saint-Sauveur, Que., Mont Saint-Sauveur
Ève Routhier, Sherbrooke, Que., Mont-Orford
Elli Terwiel, Heffley Creek, B.C., Sun Peaks Alpine Club
Kelly VanderBeek, Kitchener, Ont., Chicopee
Larisa Yurkiw, Owen Sound, Ont., Georgian Peaks
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Tafel, Thompson crowned ski cross Canadian champions
NAKISKA, ALTA. (April 7, 2012) – Local hero Tristan Tafel won his first national title and Marielle Thompson successfully defended her 2011 crown Saturday as Canada’s top racers put the finishing touches on their season at the 2012 Sport Chek Ski Cross Canadian Championships in Nakiska, Alta.
Tafel, of Canmore, Alta., edged Dave Duncan, of London, Ont., right at the line in a thrilling men’s final that turned into head to head duel between the two national team racers. Marielle Thompson, of Whistler, B.C. – who this season became the first Canadian to win an individual Crystal Globe as the overall World Cup champion – had a more comfortable time of it in the women’s final, leading from start to finish to keep hold of the title she won in Lake Louise, Alta., last year.
“This means a lot. I’m excited to have done this on my home turf,” said Tafel, who had a stellar 2011-12 season, which included his first career World Cup victory in Bischofswiesen/Goetschen, Germany, on Feb. 25. “Honestly, it was the best year of my life. With that you have ups and downs. I’m just thankful to be given the opportunity. I’m really happy with how everything went.”
Tafel took an early lead in the men’s final but had Duncan breathing down his neck the rest of the way down.
“We were four wide going into the first turn. ‘Dunc’ gave me the, ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and I just attacked into the first and second turns,” said Tafel, 22, who was second at the 2011 national championships. “Then after that I was out in front.
“The last section of the course, Dunc caught the draft on me and started reeling me in. I gave him a little bit of room and we didn’t have any contact.
“He made an amazing pass on me. It shows how much of a veteran he is. There aren’t many guys on the (World Cup) tour that can pull a pass on the hip. It’s unreal how close it was.
“I took the command back into the finish jump and he was just left of me. I looked over at him and I knew that I had the victory. It was pretty sweet.”
World Cup veteran Duncan, who won the Canadian title in 2009, was happy to be part of a tight, exciting race.
“The final was great,” he said. “I went for a pass over the hip and just came up a little short there and then the same thing at the finish line. I got back into my tuck and used his draft – and I think we were maybe a half-foot (apart) at the finish line. At the end of the day it was good, tight skiing and fun for everyone to watch.”
Whistler’s Robert Lepine was third in the men’s final and Mathieu (Matt) Leduc, of Comox, B.C., was fourth.
There was plenty of drama in the heats that preceded the men’s final. Whistler’s Stan Rey, the other men’s national team member competing on Saturday, was part of a stacked semi-final that also included Duncan and Tafel. Celebrating his 24th birthday, Rey ended up in the fence after running out of room when he went into a turn shoulder to shoulder with Duncan.
“We all came in three wide coming into the second turn. Dunc and I got pushed pretty low on the turn. I was on the outside and unfortunately I had nowhere to go but the fence,” said Rey, who got a pie in the face from his teammates when he made it to the bottom of the hill.
“I still had fun – that’s what it’s all about. They put me in the fence and then they pie me, too. I guess that’s what you call sportsmanship,” added Rey, laughing.
The 2011 men’s national champion, Chris Del Bosco, of Montreal, Que., cheered on his teammates from the finish area after his knee swelled up following Friday’s qualification round. Whistler’s Davey Barr opted not to race, while Brian Bennett, of Quesnel, B.C., also sat out due to a knee injury.
On the women’s side, Thompson was the only national team member competing Saturday and she was too fast for her young opponents, leading from start to finish in both the semifinal and final.
“It was a pretty short day but a good day. I held onto the title – woo!” said Thompson, 19. “I was like, ‘I’m going to the nail the start and go.’
“It was a good finish to the year, that’s for sure. It’s been a great season. I’ve just got to keep it going next year.”
Fifteen-year-old India Sherret, of Cranbrook, B.C., was second in Saturday’s women’s final and Whistler’s Sarah Lepine was third.
“I went up the chair with a few with them,” said Thompson of some of the younger girls competing Saturday. “It’s nice to talk to them. (National team members) Kelsey (Serwa), Ashleigh (McIvor) and Julia (Murray) all talked to me when I was younger.”
Sherret, who finished eighth at the world juniors in Italy last month, was delighted with her second-place finish.
“The final was actually really good,” Sherret said. “Marielle doubling the rollers kind of screwed me up a bit. Other than that I feel I had a really good race.
“I’m hoping to pick up my results a little bit. I came second in all the Nor-Ams this year and now at this race, so I’ll maybe try to one-up those a couple of times next year.”
“It was good for Marielle to stay on her feet and keep the national title with the national team. She’s carrying the flag for all those who were all down here watching (injured racers McIvor, Murray, Serwa, Danielle Poleschuk and Mariannick Therer, among others). Hopefully next year it’s going to be a different story.”
Pridy, McLeish Named to CAST
Special congratulations to WMSC athletes who have recently been added to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team
CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM – SENIOR MEN
Morgan Pridy - Whistler, B.C. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM – SENIOR WOMEN
Madison McLeish - Canmore, Alta. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Complete news from ACA below....
Canadian Alpine Ski Team unveiled
CALGARY, ALTA. (May 19, 2011) – Thirty-one athletes were named to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team on Thursday as Alpine Canada continues its preparations for the 2011-12 World Cup season.
The team, headlined by world downhill champion Erik Guay and featuring 20 men and 11 women, includes a core group of proven World Cup racers as well as a major injection of young talent.
“This is a strong team that we believe can compete with the very best in the world,” said Canadian Alpine Ski Team athletic director Robert Rousselle. “We had a challenging season last year due to injuries but our athletes still delivered some strong performances, highlighted by Erik Guay’s historic gold medal at the world championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.”
Guay, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., is joined on the men’s speed team by a group that includes fellow Canadian Cowboys Jan Hudec, of Calgary, Alta., three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Vancouver, B.C., and 2009 world downhill champion John Kucera, also of Calgary. Osborne-Paradis and Kucera are returning from injury, as are veterans Robbie Dixon, of Whistler, B.C., and François Bourque, of New Richmond, Que. – another Canadian Cowboy. Canadian Cowboy is the term given to men’s team ski racers who have finished in the top three at a World Cup, world championship or Olympic race.
“The returning athletes are key players for our team,” said Rousselle. “They are veterans and leaders who will raise the level of competition.”
Whistler’s Michael Janyk, another Canadian Cowboy, and Julien Cousineau, of Lachute, Que., who was fifth in slalom at the 2011 world championships, lead an experienced men’s technical team that also features proven World Cup racers Brad Spence and Trevor White, both of Calgary.
The men’s team benefits from the addition of some young talent this season, with Ben Thomsen, of Invermere, B.C., following up a promising 2010-11 World Cup campaign by being named to the team. There are some new faces, including Philip Brown, of Toronto, Ont., who won a bronze medal in combined at the 2011 FIS World Junior Ski Championships. Calgary’s Erik Read and Sasha Zaitsoff, of Nelson, B.C., have also been named to the team after making their first starts on the World Cup circuit last season.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., who finished the World Cup season ranked in the top-20 in giant slalom and super combined, is part of a talented young women’s technical team that includes Anna Goodman, of Pointe Claire, Que., Marie-Pier Préfontaine, of Saint Sauveur, Que., and Erin Mielzynski, of Guelph, Ont. In the speed events, the women’s team could be boosted by the return of World Cup veterans Kelly VanderBeek, of Kitchener, Ont., who is making good progress in her recovery from a serious injury, and Larisa Yurkiw, of Owen Sound, Ont. Whistler’s Britt Janyk announced her retirement earlier this week.
“On the women’s side, it’s a young group coming up with a lot of talent,” said Rousselle. “We are very excited about their potential and we look forward to helping them to continue their progression towards the podium.”
Both teams recently resumed dryland training in Calgary. The 2011-12 FIS World Cup season is due to get underway in Solden, Austria, at the end of October.
CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM – SENIOR MEN
François Bourque – New Richmond, Que. (Pin Rouge)
Philip Brown - Toronto, Ont. (Craigleith)
Dustin Cook - Lac Sainte-Marie, Que. (Mont Ste-Marie)
Julien Cousineau - Lachute, Que. (Mont-Tremblant)
Robbie Dixon - Whistler, B.C. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Erik Guay - Mont-Tremblant, Que. (Mont-Tremblant)
Kelby Halbert - Bradford, Ont. (Toronto Ski Club)
Louis-Pierre Hélie - Berthierville, Que. (Mont-Ste-Anne)
Jan Hudec - Calgary, Alta. (Banff Alpine Racers)
John Kucera - Calgary, Alta. (Calgary Alpine Racing Club)
Michael Janyk - Whistler, B.C. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Manuel Osborne-Paradis - Vancouver, B.C. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Jean-Philippe Roy - Ste-Flavie, Que. (Mont-Comi)
Morgan Pridy - Whistler, B.C. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Erik Read - Calgary, Alta. (Banff Alpine Racers)
Brad Spence - Calgary, Alta. (NATC/Panorama Ski Club)
Ben Thomsen - Invermere, B.C. (Windermere Valley Ski Club)
Andy Trow - Canmore, Alta. (Sunshine Ski Club)
Trevor White - Calgary, Alta. (NATC/Fortress Alpine Ski Team)
Sasha Zaitsoff - Nelson, B.C. (Red Mountain Racers)
CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM – SENIOR WOMEN
Marie-Michèle Gagnon - Lac-Etchemin, Que. (Mont Orignal)
Anna Goodman - Pointe Claire, Que. (Mont-Tremblant)
Madison Irwin - Toronto, Ont. (Craigleith)
Kelly McBroom - Canmore, Alta. (Banff Alpine Racers)
Madison McLeish - Canmore, Alta. (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Erin Mielzynski - Guelph, Ont. (Georgian Peaks)
Brittany Phelan - Mont-Tremblant, Que. (Mont-Tremblant)
Marie-Pier Préfontaine - Saint Sauveur, Que. (St Sauveur)
Ève Routhier - Sherbrooke, Que. (Mont Orford)
Kelly VanderBeek - Kitchener, Ont. (Chicopee)
Larisa Yurkiw - Owen Sound, Ont. (Georgian Peaks)
March 7, 2009
Manuel Osborne-Paradis wins gold and bronze in downhills in Kvitfjell, Norway. Robbie Dixon has two consecutive top ten finishes
WMSC alumnic, Manuel Osborne-Paradis has joined a select group of Canadian ski racers, following up the first World Cup win of his career with another downhill podium a day later. Osborne-Paradis, winner of yesterday men’s World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, NOR, posted the third fastest time today, finishing in one minute 32.58 seconds.
“It’s a really nice feeling to be able to do it two days in a row,” said the 25-year old Paradis who has vaulted up the men’s downhill standings in the last two days. He is now the top Canadian in any discipline, sitting fourth in the DH with 299 points.
“Today was a totally different day, totally different course,” he said. “It was a lower start because of fog at the top. It made it more of a sprint. It made it where the little mistakes did matter, you didn’t have time to make up speed.”
Robbie Dixon (Whistler, BC) finished seventh today for his second straight top 10 result, 0.23s behind Osborne-Paradis.
Another solid top ten for John Kucera (Calgary, AB) as well, placing eighth in 1:32.82 followed by Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, QC) in ninth.
“I am really happy with the third place and I am super happy that (four of) the Canadian boys were in the top 10. We are all finishing as a group and moving ahead as a group, it’s nice to share it with those guys,” Osborne-Paradis said. All four Canadians will participate in the World Cup Finals DH in Åre, SWE next week.
March 5, 2009
WMSC Alumnus Ali Leighton loves Montana State NCAA college racing life
After a long and successful stint with the B.C. Ski Team, Whistler’s Ali Leighton is tearing it up as a skier in the U.S. college stream. Ali is the daughter of our own Chris Leighton.
Leighton, now a member of the Montana State University ski team based in Bozeman, is happily settled in as an Exercise Science student at the NCAA Division 1 school. The idea of college racing appealed to her because after many years of racing with the B.C. team and the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC), the past winner of the Pontiac Cup women’s series standings wasn’t ready to leave her sport behind.
“I decided on racing college because I wasn't really done with the sport and thought that I could still enjoy ski racing in a more relaxed setting,” Leighton wrote in an email to The Question. “College racing is a great opportunity to get an education and to continue with skiing in a competitive environment.”
Leighton, who knocked off national team racers to win a silver medal in the 2006 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships super G event in Whistler, said she loves “the team aspect of college racing,” where individual results are combined to help the team score. The Alpine team tallies are then added to the Nordic team’s score for a total to rank against the other schools.
Happily describing how the college circuit is taking her to interesting places such as New Mexico and Alaska, Leighton said college racing is still highly competitive.
“There are lots of Europeans that come over to race NCAA that have good points and are fast skiers. It compares to races at the NorAm level that I participated in with the B.C. team,” she wrote.
With a 10th-place result at a race in Park City last season and several top-10 second-run times in slalom and giant slalom races this season, Leighton said she came well prepared to the program thanks to the B.C. team and the WMSC.
“Both teams provided a competitive environment with some great coaching that was able to carry over to my college career. I owe a lot to the WMSC program and Jordan Williams that set me up to qualify for the B.C. team, which really progressed my career,” Leighton wrote.
Williams warmly remembers Leighton’s rise with Kendall Benbow and Danielle Robson as the illustrious RC3 group — the Rookie Chicks 3 — who moved solidly from the WMSC to the provincial ski team. Williams said Leighton’s current path is “great to see,” offering a different set of opportunities and educational advantages while demonstrating what hardworking, focused athletes can achieve.
“She’s really a diligent athlete… Ali was one that was always prepared,” Williams said.
While she misses Whistler, Leighton said she’s happy where she is and enjoying the chance to try something new. She chose Montana State because it seemed like the best fit for her, with the school located in an active, outdoors-minded community like Whistler and a great group of athletes on the team, plus a passionate coach.
Leighton said she also misses racing super G — her favourite event with the B.C. team — but she sated her craving in a recent FIS Development Speed Series event at Big Sky Resort, where she finished fifth in a super G race.
After taking some lumps and hikes in the Western Regionals event in Reno, Nev., Leighton is hoping to tackle some more FIS races to close out the year with some solid results.
Written by Megan Grittani-Livingston
This article is courtesy of the Whistler Question newspaper and first appeared on February 26, 2009: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/article/20090226/WHISTLER02/302199743/1007
March 2, 2009
Former WMSC racers Ashleigh McIvor and Davey Barr win skicross gold and bronze at freestyle championships
Ashleigh McIvor won gold in women's skicross while fellow Canadian Davey Barr won bronze in the men's event Monday March 2nd, 2009 at the world freestyle championships held in Inawashiro, Japan. Ashleigh and Davey are both former WMSC FIS racers. McIvor won gold despite being the 28th and final qualifier for the skicross heats. She had the poorest of four start positions because of her lower seeding, but made up for it with a quick start. "I don't know how I did this," said the native of Whistler, B.C. "Even to qualify I had to hike two minutes back up the mountain because I'd hooked a gate and wouldn't have qualified if I hadn't. It hasn't really hit me. All I want to do is jump up and down." The win at the world championships is the latest in a string of excellent results for McIvor, who seems to have sewn up a berth on the 2010 Canadian Olympic squad. She was coming off a third-place finish at a World Cup event in Sweden which gave her three podium finishes on the circuit so far this season. Her best prior to Monday was a silver at the World Cup event at West Vancouver's Cypress Mountain on Feb. 7.
In the men's skicross final, Barr's bronze was his third in international competition this season, after the Brackendale, B.C., native placed third at the Airwave Games in France and the World Cup event at Cypress. "I've got to break the bronze curse," said Barr, a day shy of his 32nd birthday. "I wish I'd brought my semifinal start to the finals," he said of the race in which he was second behind teammate Chris DelBosco, a Canadian whose home is in Vail, Colo. In the four-skier final, Barr was third behind the 1-2 Austrian combo of Matt Andreas and Thomas Zangerl. Del Bosco was fourth.
February 28, 2008
Maelle Ricker captures snowboardcross gold in Maine
Former WMSC racer Maelle Ricker won the gold medal in a snowboardcross race at a World Cup event Saturday February 28th, held in Maine. "It definitely feels good to finally get that win," she said. "At the start, I just push myself and said to myself 'Maelle, it's go time. I had a really nice start and was able to keep a very nice line on the course and fend off my competitors and it worked out nicely for me." Ricker beat a field that included defending world champion Helen Olafsson of Norway, Switzerland's Mellie Francon and World Cup leader Lindsey Jacobellis of the U.S. "It was a really nice course, with a little bit of everything," Ricker said. "The weather we had made it really challenging for everyone. The rain we got (Friday) just froze completely overnight, which made the course really icy. The course workers did a great job this morning, but it was nasty out there."
Ricker did exceptionally well in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
She headed into the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as the overall leader in the 200910 FIS Snowboard World Cup. She skipped the Winter X Games in January to focus on the Olympics.
The women's snowboard cross event began on February 16, and the event started out nervously enough for the Canadian contingent in women's snowboard cross. Both she and Dominique Maltais fell on the same berm on their first qualifying run. With fog and weather conditions threatening to cancel the second and final qualifying run, both Canadians would have been out of the finals if officials had canceled the run. However the decision was made to carry on with the qualifying, conditions improved, and Ricker would successfully qualify in third place. When asked about her fall after the race Ricker said that it "was heartbreaking after that first run. I had to go back up to the start, refocus and think about my lines. I had to visualize all the stuff we¹ve been training all week, all year, the last few years.
Ricker won her quarter-final with ease, but because of only finishing third in qualifying, was placed in a semi-final with gold medal contender Lindsey Jacobellis. In the run however Jacobellis was disqualified for missing a gate and Ricker carried on, qualifying for the A-final. In the medal final Ricker again took a large lead out of the starting gate and won the gold medal with relative ease, becoming the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold on home soil. Ricker won the gold just minutes from her childhood home in North Vancouver and described the Olympic victory "like a crazy dream".
For Ricker, the gold was redemption for her fall and concussion during the
2006 Olympic Games in Turin. She said that "Turin was such a motivator for me. It just made me work that much harder and just go for it today.
February 28, 2008
Konantz takes Super Combined Silver at PGMC J1 National Championships
Former WMSC racer and BC Development team member Willy Konantz put in a spectacular slalom run to win silver his first ever J1 National Championships. Willy, who was well back in eighth place after the opening super-G, ended up in second place overall in a two-run time of 1:53.74. "I definitely went a little too round in the super G", said Konantz. "I could have gone a lot straighter. The super G track is perfect. The course workers have done a great job." Konantz, who is a member of the BC Alpine J1 Development Team, was hoping for a top-10 finish in Saturday's super combined. "I'm pretty happy with second place", he told us after the slalom run. "I almost lost it so many times during the slalom. It was really soft at the top then it got icy later on. It was hard to adapt. I have to say all the training I've had this year has really helped me. It's been an amazing experience to be part of the BC development team."
February 24, 2009
Toria Whitney posts impressive 5th place finish at Italian Europa Cup Downhill in Tarvisio, Italy
Whistler's Victoria Whitney (BC Ski Team) tore up the Tarvisio downhill track in one minute, 13.29 seconds, just over half a second behind the winner, Isabelle Stiepel of Germany. Georgia Simmerling of West Vancouver and the Canadian Development Team finished 18th in 1:14.14. Both athletes are in Europe racing and training in preparation for the upcoming World Junior Championships beginning March 1st in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. For now they will train in Kirchberg, where they just received a meter of new snow. The entire World Junior team will move to Garmiche on Friday.
February 23rd, 2009
WMSC's Toria Whitney selected to represent Canada in the World Junior Nationals
Toria Whitney, a graduate of WMSC's racing program and resident of Whistler has been selected to be part of the Canadian team at the World Junior Championships at Garmisch Partenkirchen, Austria which will be held March 1-8, 2009. Toria is the daughter of our Alpine Chair, Irene Whitney, and timing guru Al Whitney. Like many of our athletes, Toria was first a member of WMSC as a J4 with Denis Embacher. The Canadian objectives at the 2009 World Junior Championships are to achieve podium success for Canada and to provide experience and international exposure to elite level Canadian athletes identified as future potential medalists. Toria will be joined by five other Canadian women (Marie-Michele Gagnon, Kate Ryley, Georgia Simmerling, Erin Mielzinski & Brittany Phelan) and six Canadian men (Dustin Cook, Michael Mackie, Mathieu Routhier, Kelby Halbert, Erik Read & Andy Trow).
February 15th, 2009
Former WMSC racer Michael Janyk makes ski racing history
Our congratulations go to Whistler’s Michael Janyk on his World Championship bronze medal.
Michael Janyk, a WMSC alumni made Canadian ski racing history on Sunday in Val d’Isère, France by claiming bronze in slalom, becoming the first Canadian male to medal in a technical event at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Read the story.
February 17th, 2009
Jocelyn Ramsden qualifies for Senior Nationals in her first year as a J1
Congratulations go to BC J1 Development team member Jocelyn Ramsden who, in the recent PGMC cup at Mt Norquay, was 5th in the opening GS and the second J1. This is a significant accomplishment for Jocelyn who is in her first year as a J1 and just last year was a WMSC K2. Her great performance has meant that she has qualified for Senior Nationals.