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99This 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.

Nathan Smith

The month of March always signifies the last full month of competition for our snow sport athletes. From the final alpine world cup races in France, to the end of the biathlon world cup season in Russia, to our cross country athletes wrapping up their season in Norway, it has been an exciting time for our fans. Fans across Canada had a blast cheering our athletes on down the homestretch and watching them #goforgold one last time.

During the month of March, biathlete Nathan Smith finished his breakout season by making history for Biathlon Canada. Coming off a strong February in which he had career best finishes of 5th and 7th, Smith went on to win the silver medal at the world championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, finish 5th in a sprint race in Russia, and then win gold in the pursuit race only a couple days later.   These results represented a series of milestones both for Smith as an athlete, and for Biathlon Canada:

  • First Canadian male to win a medal at the Biathlon World Championships
  • Second Canadian male to win a biathlon world cup gold medal
  • First Canadian male to win a both a world championship and world cup biathlon medal in the same season

With such a record-setting month, Nathan Smith is deservedly the Snow Sports Canada Athlete of the Month for March. Congratulations Nathan!

Notable Performances

Nathan Smith wasn’t the only Snow Sports Canada athlete who truly owned the snow in March. In fact, during the last work cup stops many of our athletes rose to the challenge and put in some of their best performances of the season. We now would like to acknowledge the following athletes for their strong performances at their respective final world cup events of the 2015-’16 season:

  • Taylor Henrich won her second bronze medal of the season at the final event in Norway
  • Dustin Cook won the alpine super-g in Meribel, France to end a breakout season
  • Chris Robanske finished the season on a high note, winning snowboard cross gold in Spain
  • Cassie Sharpe & Mike Riddle both won gold at the final halfpipe event in Tignes, France
  • Brady Leman stole silver at the last ski cross race of 2015 in Megeve, France

Congratulations to all of our athletes as they wrapped up the season in style and continued to show the world that when it comes to snow sports, no team is better than #TeamCanada

 

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Dustin Cook Becomes the Eighth Member of the Canadian Cowboys

After posting four top-20 results so far this season, you could tell that something great was bound to happen for Dustin Cook soon. That something occurred this past Thursday at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail-Beaver Creek when Cook secured a silver medal in the super-g race. With his first podium result at a world cup or world championships, Cook will officially be able to call himself a Canadian Cowboy, and joins an illustrious group that includes Erik Guay, John Kuchera, Francois Bourque, Benjamin Thomsen, Jan Hudec, Mike Janyk and Manuel Osborne-Paradis. Congratulations Dustin!

 

Kingsbury Rules the Podium in Val Saint-Côme

Mikaël Kingsbury has now won 26 world cup titles, but going into this weekend he had never won a world cup single mogul event in his home province of Quebec. That all changed when Kingsbury beat out Australian Matt Graham to take home the gold at a world cup event in Val Saint-Côme over the weekend. On the women’s side, Chloé Dufour-Lapointe and Audrey Robichaud took home silver and bronze, respectively, en route to helping the Canadian team secure three out of six podium spots at the event.

 

Nathan Green Inches Closer To The Podium With Clean Shooting

Biathlon Canada’s Nathan Green had the best weekend of his young career, finishing 7th and 5th in world cup events in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic over the weekend. Behind some strong shooting, which saw Green shoot clean in back-to-back events, the young 2014 Olympian posted career best results, and proved that he is a podium threat on a Canadian team brimming with young talent.

 

Chris Del Bosco Leads Canada’s Ski Cross Team in Switzerland

The Alpine Canada Ski Cross Team went 1-2 in the men’s small final on back-to-back days in Arosa, Switzerland this past weekend, led by strong results from Olympian Chris Del Bosco. Tristan Tafel won the small final on Friday to finish fifth, while Del Bosco was right behind him in sixth. On Saturday it was Del Bosco’s time to lead, winning the small final ahead of teammate Brady Leman to help Canada secure fifth and sixth place finishes once again. With the strong weekend results, Del Bosco now moves into 10th place in the overall world cup standings, while Leman leads the way for Alpine Canada in 7th place overall.