Another winter is just around the corner, and the Snow Sports Canada teams are gearing up for the start of the World Cup season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five things we can look forward to this winter season.
1. Canadian Freestyle Ski Team
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Team had a memorable 2013-’14 season, with medals on the World Cup and Olympic stage. Dara Howell kept the town of Huntsville, Ontario up all night waiting for her slopestyle run at the Sochi Olympics, and she didn’t disappoint, winning the inaugural gold medal in women’s slopestyle skiing. Sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe captured gold and silver, respectively, in the women’s moguls. On the men’s side young gun Michael Kingsbury looks to continue his reign and build on his three overall World Cup titles in Men’s moguls. Make sure to catch the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team this year as they show the world that #weownsnow.
2. Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup
Hosting both a super-g and a downhill event, these are the first FIS World Cup speed races of the season, and the only opportunity for Canadian alpine skiers to win on home soil this season! This event kicks off November 29th, with Canadians swarming the finish area to wave Canadian flags and bang cow bells. The Lake Louise downhill was the first non-European downhill course to be named to the prestigious ‘Club 5’, a union of leading alpine ski racing downhill courses. The last time a Canadian took home gold at this event was in 2009 when Manuel Osborne-Paradis won the Super-G race. The best part is, tickets are free!
3. Canada Winter Games
Held from February 13th– March 1st, 2015 in Prince George, BC, the Canada Games are a celebration of youth, sports, culture and community bringing together 3,500 athletes, coaches and officials. Originally held in Quebec City in 1967 as a part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations, the Canada Games list many Snow Sports Canada athletes as alumni including Alison Forsyth (Alpine Skiing), Chandra Crawford (Cross Country Skiing) and Jenn Heil (Freestyle Skiing). Check out the Canada Games 2015 homepage here for more information!
4. Canadian Snow Resorts
With some of the best mountain playgrounds in the world, people come from all over to experience the Canadian winter. Whistler Blackcomb, located in British Columbia, is the largest ski resort in North America, and home to many Snow Sports Canada athletes, including Manny Osbourne-Paradis, Mike Janyk, Morgan Pridy, Mercedes Nicoll, Marielle Thompson and Yuki Tsubota. Just west of Calgary lies a cluster of world class resorts, including Fernie, Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, Kimberley and Nakiska – all within driving distance of each other. The west doesn’t have it all though – Eastern Canada has some great skiing too, such as Quebec’s Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, home mountain to Alpine Canada athlete and multiple World Cup gold medallist Erik Guay.
5. World Ski & Snowboard Festival
The largest annual gathering of winter sports, music, art and culture in the world, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a week-long celebration taking place at Whistler Blackcomb. A world-class mountain resort, Whistler Blackcomb is a training hub for Snow Sports Canada athletes thanks in part to the incredible facilities left over from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. You can watch pro skiers and snowboarders such as Jossi Wells and Jesper Tjader throw down during Association of Freestyle Professionals (AFP) World Championship Slopestyle and Big Air events, then catch a free outdoor concert series. To top it all off, Whistler has some of the best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife around. Check out the WSSF here.
To all our Snow Sports Canada athletes, and snow sports participants everywhere, have a great season and enjoy the snow!