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What do ski racers actually wear under their speed suits? ‘Skin to Win’ is a popular saying, but does that actually happen? Host Kelly VanderBeek speaks with Canadian National Team members to find out what’s really under there!
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FIS Alpine Ski World Champs

Set to take place from February 2nd to the 15th of 2015, the biennial FIS Alpine World Ski Championships bring together the best alpine ski racing athletes from around the world for two weeks of competition. This will be only the fourth time that the world championships will be held in North America. The Vail Valley has hosted the event twice before – in 1989 and 1999.

Canada has a history of strong results at the world championships. Erik Guay, currently recovering from off-season knee surgery, won the downhill title in 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany while Canadian John Kucera was the reigning world champion at the time, having won the title in 2009 in Val d’Isere.

“Garmisch has always been a good place for me ever since I’ve come onto the World Cup,” Guay said. “It’s just one of those places I feel right.”

Unfortunately for Alpine Canada, the speed team will be a little light this year, as Jan Hudec suffered a torn meniscus racing the men’s downhill in Val Gardena, Italy on January 19th. Hudec tied for bronze in the super-g at the Sochi Olympics, the first medal in alpine skiing for Canada in two decades.

The events kick off with the ladies super-g on January 3rd, followed by the men’s super-g on the 4th. Make sure to check out the full event schedule here and also catch all the action on Sportsnet. Join us in cheering on our athletes as they go for gold and race to become crowned world champions!

 

For more information on Alpine Canada, visit their website here

For more information on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, click here

Kingsbury Kreischberg Podium Picture

If we were to sum up the month of January for our athletes in one word, it would be – wow. Our athletes proved once again that on snow, they are the best in the world. From gold medals at the X Games, to podium sweeps in Austria and making history in Germany, our team has been dominant so far this season – which makes choosing one athlete among them all as our Athlete of the Month a difficult task.

There was however one athlete who had a truly historic start to the season, and a dominant January. Your Snow Sports Canada athlete of the month for January is Mikaël Kingsbury.

Kingsbury has had an amazing month of competition in January, winning five gold medals and one silver through six competitions. Kingsbury is on top of the leaderboard with 429 points, 204 points up on fellow Canadian Philippe Marquis who sits second with 225 points. At just 22 years of age, Kingsbury is a bonafide star on the moguls world cup circuit, and will be one to watch for years to come. Congratulations on a stellar month of competition Mikaël!

Honourable Mention

  1. Marielle Thompson
  2. Justine Dufour-Lapointe

Historic Performances

  • Taylor Henrich became the first Canadian woman to stand on the ski jumping world cup podium after she finished third in a world cup event in Germany. Taylor also had another first for Canada, as she placed first in the qualification round prior to the final event. Congratulations on an historic achievement Taylor!
  • Simon d’Artois became the first Canadian to win a superpipe gold medal when he won the X Games event in Aspen. Check out Simon’s jaw-dropping winning run:

 

 

Congratulations to all of our athletes on a strong January, and let’s keep the momentum rolling into February! #weownsnow

national ski day

National Ski Day is an initiative of Alpine Canada to encourage all Canadians to get out and ski on December 6th for the discounted price of only $10. Simply print off this voucher and bring it with you to Cypress, Nakiska, Blue Mountain or Stoneham on December 6th 2014.

Still not convinced? Check out our top five reasons that you should hit the slopes this Saturday.

 

  1. Easy On The Wallet

At only $10 per lift ticket, how can you not take advantage of such an incredible offer? For only $10, the average price of lunch at a fast food restaurant, you will get a whole day of fun and activity on the mountain. Rates this low don’t come around often, so take advantage and go skiing!

  1. Conditions Are Great

All across Canada, ski resorts are opening early, and snow has been blanketing the slopes for weeks! It’s gearing up to be a great winter, and the temperatures are in that sweet spot where it’s cold enough for snow, but warm enough that you can ski all day. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a hot chocolate break in the lodge between runs.

  1. Access To Some of The Best Resorts in Canada

Nakiska, Cypress, Blue Mountain and Stoneham are some of the best ski resorts in Canada and offer terrain for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or expert skier, prefer the park over moguls, or just love to slash powder, these four resorts have something for everyone.

  1. Fun For The Whole Family

Bring the whole family out! Skiing is great way to spend a day with family and friends, and thanks to National Ski Day, you can do so at a reasonable price. If you’re heading to Nakiska make sure to take in the Nakiska Ski Cross World Cup where you can watch Alpine Canada take on the world in the first race of the Ski Cross World Cup season!

  1. Location, Location, Location

With four locations across Canada, Canadians everywhere have access to cheap lift tickets at world-class resorts this Saturday. Each National Ski Day participating resort is located within ninety minutes of a major city centre- Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Quebec City. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!

International Outdoor Product Manufacturer to Support Canada’s Best With Specialized Product Line

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VANCOUVER – November 12, 2014 – With the 2014-2015 snow sport season kicking off this month, Snow Sports Canada, the official marketing consortium of seven national snow sport organizations, is pleased to introduce High Sierra as an Official Supplier. High Sierra proudly supports all Snow Sports Canada athletes as they compete on the world stage over the next two seasons.

“Having the support of brands like High Sierra is imperative to our athletes’ development in the coming season, while propelling our brand’s growth” said Davin MacIntosh, Executive Director of Cross Country Canada. “This corporate support enables our athletes to focus on what matters the most – reaching their full potential and winning on the world stage.”

For High Sierra, the partnership is a natural extension of their ongoing commitment to snow sports in North America, which includes a partnership with the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA).

“From the weekend warrior to the World Cup Champion, Canadians are passionate about snow sports. As High Sierra is growing in the Canadian market, we are excited to partner with a brand that encompasses the passion and excitement that Canadians feel for winter sport.” said Paul DeCorso, General Manager of High Sierra Canada. “Snow Sports Canada athletes represent some of the best in the world – embodying the resilient and rugged characteristics required of a champion. High Sierra employees and products uphold those same values. We only manufacture the highest quality product, built to withstand the elements often endured by our athletes.”

The partnership allows for select Snow Sports Canada athletes to be outfitted with High Sierra travel and equipment bags. Additionally, High Sierra will bring Snow Sports Canada merchandise to retail locations nationwide, allowing for fans from coast-to-coast-to-coast to show their Canadian pride, while supporting our athletes this season.

“Travel is such a fundamental aspect of our lives as athletes and teams. Having a partner like High Sierra provides allows us to travel comfortably with all the essentials as we train and compete to reach our goal of propelling Canada to the top of the podium,” explained Canada Snowboard National Team member and Olympian Alex Duckworth.

For more information, please visit High Sierra online at highsierra.ca

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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Photo Credit: Canadian Olympic Committee

Snow Sports Canada applauds the initiative of the Harper Government, Governor General of Canada David Johnston, and Minister of Sport Bal Gosal in proclaiming 2015 the Year of Sport in Canada.

Snow Sports Canada athletes are a competitive and growing presence on the international stage, and the seven snow sport organizations of Alpine Canada, Biathlon Canada, Canada Snowboard, Cross Country Ski Canada, Freestyle Ski Canada, Nordic Combined Canada and Ski Jumping Canada are hard at work preparing for a busy season of competition.

We are excited to watch our athletes compete over the next two months, and carry that momentum into 2015: The Year of Sport. Don’t forget to cheer on our Alpine Canada athletes this weekend as they open their World Cup racing season in Soelden, Austria! #weownsnow

Click here for more information on the 2015 Year of Sport

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Governor General Proclaims 2015 as Year of Sport in Canada

OTTAWA—During the ceremonial lighting of the torch for the Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games today on Parliament Hill, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, proclaimed 2015 as the Year of Sport in Canada. The announcement was made in the presence of the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport); Her Worship Shari Green, Mayor of Prince George; Tom Quinn, Chair of the Canada Games Council; Brett Robinson, Executive Chair of the Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society; Chief Dominic Frederick of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation; and athletes representing the 19 sports taking place at the Games. 

“Next year promises to be a truly memorable sporting year for Canadians. A number of major international sporting events will take place in Canada, including the Pan Am Games, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the IIHF World Hockey Junior Championships. It is for these reasons and so many more that I am delighted to proclaim 2015 the Year of Sport in Canada,” declared His Excellency. 

In 2015, Canada will play host to several international sporting events.  With its overarching theme of “Canada: A Leading Sport Nation,” the Year of Sport will highlight key moments in our nation’s history and showcase Canadian contributions to the world of sport. The initiative is also intended to build momentum leading up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

See original press release here

Three Canadian men’s alpine skiers nominated to Sochi 2014 Olympic team

The Canadian Olympic Committee welcomes three “Canadian Cowboys” onto the Canadian Olympic Team, as they head to Sochi poised to end a 20-year medal drought for Canada on Olympic soil.

Canadian Alpine skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis

These three athletes will compete against the world’s best as Canada’s representatives in downhill and super-G, carrying some momentum forward from a positive start to the 2013-14 World Cup season. Two-time Olympian, who now holds a Canadian-best 21 career World Cup podium finishes, Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, QC) will lead this year’s team into Sochi. He will be joined by two-time Olympian, Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver, BC) who is also hoping to find Olympic podium success. The trio will also include Vancouver 2010 Olympian, Jan Hudec (Calgary, AB), a World Cup winner and world championship medallist.

“Any time you have the opportunity to represent your country it’s a great honour and privilege,” said Osborne-Paradis. “It’s about putting all your cards on the table on the day of the race and hopefully you get some hardware. Right now we have three guys who have the chance to do that for the Canadian Cowboys. That’s what inspires kids to become champions and work their way up through the system – an Olympic medal would just really top it off.”

Wednesday’s announcement was attended by Lake Placid 1980 Olympic bronze medallist and Canada’s Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014, Steve Podborski; and Ed Podivinsky who earned an Olympic bronze medal at Lillehammer 1994, and is the last Canadian alpine skier to medal at an Olympic Games.

“What a great honour it is to represent Canada at the Olympic Games. I understand and appreciate the dedication and commitment that Erik, Jan and Manuel have for their sport and country,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “There is something truly special about this group of skiers and I look forward to seeing them perform at their highest level in Sochi.”

“Congratulations to our male alpine skiers, who will make us proud in Sochi,” added Costas Menegakis, Member of Parliament, (Richmond Hill). “Your breathtaking speed will captivate Canadians as they cheer for you from every corner of our country. Good luck as you prepare to excel on the slopes in just a few weeks.”

The qualification window for Canadian male and female alpine skiers remains open until Jan. 26, so more men’s team racers could yet join Guay, Osborne-Paradis and Hudec in being nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team. The Canadian men’s speed team is due to leave for Europe Wednesday to compete in several more World Cups prior to the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend for the top spot in overall medals won.

List of male alpine skiers nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:

  • Erik Guay, Mont-Tremblant, Que.
  • Jan Hudec, Calgary, Alta.
  • Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver, B.C.