This year Canada’s MP for Sport, the Honourable Bal Gosal, proclaimed 2015 to be the year of sport in Canada. It is no surprise then that in the year of sport, our snow sports athletes elevated their game to another level – and in the process brought recognition from the international community that Canada is one – if not the – strongest snow sports nations on the planet.
Our snow sport athletes have enjoyed success on the world stage for a long time. From the Crazy Canucks of Alpine Canada in the 70’s and 80’s, to cross country star Beckie Scott in the 90’s and early 2000’s, our skill at developing snow sport athletes is no recent feat.
However in 2015, Snow Sports Canada took a huge step forward, entered a new stage of growth, and elevated to a new height. In 2015, Snow Sports Canada athletes competing in a broad variety of disciplines achieved success – there was no one sport who excelled beyond the others, and this is a true testament to the collective strength of snow sports in this country.
So what did our athletes accomplish in 2015? What did they do exactly? Well, Snow Sports Canada athletes won 78 medals collectively at the FIS world cup, IBU world cup, and X Games. During the world championships, five of our seven sports stood on the podium – in many cases, more than once. Individually, there were some outstanding achievements:
- Ski jumper Taylor Henrich made history as the first female ski jumper in Canadian history to win a medal on the world cup, and her fifth place finish was the highest ever for a female Canadian ski jumper at the world championships.
- Biathlete Nathan Smith was the first Canadian male to win both a world championships and IBU world cup medal in the same season.
- For the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Mikaël Kingsbury won his fourth consecutive crystal globe as the overall season points leader – along the way tying the record for world cup wins with his 28th, and braking his own record for consecutive world cup wins in a season with 7.
- Alex Harvey proved why he is one of Canada’s all-time greatest cross country skiing athletes when he won two medals at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in 2015 – a first for a Canadian cross country skiing athlete.
Snow Sports Canada shined under the brightest lights this season, winning medals at the highest levels of competition both in Europe, Asia, and also here at home – evidenced by our 15 medals at domestic world cup events.
In 2015, our athletes excelled like never before. They won medals, captured the attention of a nation, and brought fans to their feet – but they did not do this alone. Our athletes have the drive, determination, and desire to accomplish anything, but without the support that they receive from coaches, trainers, technicians, sponsors, friends and family, their journey would much tougher. So thank you for your support, thank you for your passion, and let’s celebrate the success of 2015 – but not for too long, because before we know it 2016 will be upon us. Go Canada Go.