Tag Archives: olympics

image2Over the past 10 years, numerous Canadian snow sport athletes have cemented themselves in sporting history. In celebration of the 148th birthday of Canada, we took a look back at historical moments and performances that have asserted Canada’s international dominance in snow sports and have helped define our nation.

1. Family first – Alexandre Bilodeau (Freestyle Skiing) –2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: After Canada failed to win a gold medal when it hosted the Olympics in Montreal 1976 and Calgary 1988, the country was eager to see who would end that drought in Vancouver. On the second day of competition, Alexandre Bilodeau provided the breakthrough and secured Canada’s first Olympic medal on home soil. But it wasn’t just about the gold medal, as Bilodeau celebrated by embracing his brother Frederic, who is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The 2010 Olympic Champion went on to defend his gold medal in men’s moguls at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, finishing just ahead of teammate Mikael Kingsbury who won the silver. Once again, Bilodeau reacted the same way as he did 4 years prior, by dedicating his medal to Fredric, calling him his hero and biggest inspiration

2. The golden sister act – Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Freestyle Skiing) –2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: The only thing that could possibly be better than winning a gold medal is winning a gold medal and standing on the podium with a sibling who has shared the same journey as you. No one will forget the unbelievable and intense day of competition for ladies’ moguls, when the Dufour-Lapointe sisters took their sports on the podium holding hands. History was made when Justine took hom the gold and Chloe secured the silver medal in women’s moguls at Sochi 2014.

3. Uncorking the potential of snowboarding – Mark McMorris (Snowboarding) – 2012 X-Games in Aspen Colorado: At the young age of 18, Mark McMorris shocked the snow sport world by throwing down the first-ever backside triple cork 1440 in X-Games competition history. Not only did Mark change the gold-standard for Big Air competition as we know it today, but his larger-than-life performances at the 2012 X-Games led to a double gold in big air and men’s slopestyle…need we say more.

4. Sarah Burke lives on forever – Debut of women’s Super-Pipe skiing at the Olympics (Freestyle Skiing) – 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: As one of the world’s top freestyle skiers, Sarah Burke was a four-time Winter X-Games gold medalist in superpipe. Sarah led the efforts to get the women’s X-Games sport into the Olympics but died in a January 2012 training accident before she could see her dream realized. However, Sarah’s legacy lived on as she had successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee to add women’s superpipe to the Olympic program for the 2014 Winter Olympics. During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Trennon Payner, the Canadian freestyle ski coach, payed tribute to Sarah by speading some of her ashes on the halfpipe course prior to the inaugural women’s superpipe event. In essence, the efforts of Sarah Burke were influential to the Olympic movement and the 2014 Sochi Olympics solidified Sarah’s legacy living on forever.

5. A golden dream – Maelle Ricker (Snowboarding) – 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Maelle Ricker etched her way into the history books and inspired women all across the nation by becoming the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Maelle won her gold medal in ladies snowboard cross and as a North Vancouver native had the opportunity to make history just minutes away from her childhood home – a true dream come true.

6. Igniting the mogul movement – Jennifer Heil (Freestyle Skiing) – 2006 Torino Winter Olympics: Heil’s greatest accomplishment in freestyle skiing was her gold medal victory in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. After narrowly missing the podium as an 18-year-old rookie in the 2002 Olympics, Heil blew away the competition in 2006. After finishing first in the qualifying run, Heil posted a score of 26.50 in the final run, 0.85 better than defending Olympic gold medallist, Kari Traa to take the gold medal. Not only was this Heil’s first ever Olympic medal, it was also the first ever Olympic medal for Canada in women’s moguls and the first medal for Canada in the 2006 Olympic Games.

7. The king is crowned – Mikael Kingsbury (Freestyle Skiing) – 2014/2015 Season: Mikael Kingsbury had a historic 2014/2015 season by winning his fourth consecutive crystal globe as the overall season points leader. Along the way, the King also tied the record for world cup wins with his 28th, and broke his own record for consecutive world cup wins in a season with 7. Oh and in case you forgot, Mikael also won a silver medal at Sochi, placing just behind teammate Alexandre Bilodeau – but at the young age of 22, Kingsbury is just getting started.

8. Can you do the 1-2 step? – Marielle Thompson & Kelsey Serwa – 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: If it hasn’t been made clear up until this point, Canada is pretty good at freestyle skiing. In addition to the Alexandre Bilodeau/Mikael Kingsbury and Dufour-Lapointe sisters 1st and 2nd place finishes in men’s and women’s moguls, Canada showed that their freestyle skiing game was not restricted to moguls alone.  The ladies ski cross duo of Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa completed the 3rd 1-2 finish for Canadian freestyle skiing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, with Thompson winning gold and Serwa capturing silver. These ski cross medals contributed to a late surge in the Canadian medal count and solidified Canada’s dominance of the freestyle events at the Sochi Olympics (which resulted in four golds, four silvers and a bronze, while generating three 1-2 finishes).

9. Age is just a number – Dara Howell (Freestyle Skiing) –2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Dara Howell proved that age is just a number by taking home the gold medal in the inaugural women’s slopestyle event. In a dazzling display of substance and style, the Huntsville, Ontario native showed that her future is very promising and despite being only 19 years old, she can put on a world class performance.

10. Jumping into the history books – Taylor Henrich (Ski Jumping) – 2014/2015 Season: At only 18 years of age, Taylor Henrich already has a spot in women’s Olympic ski jumping history by taking the first run of the inaugural ski jumping event at the 2014 Sochi games, becoming one of the first women to compete in the sport at that level. Taylor Henrich continued to lead the charge for Canadian ski jumping by becoming the first Canadian woman to capture a World Cup ski jumping medal when she placed third earlier on the World Cup circuit on January 23, 2015. Additionally, Taylor`s fifth place finish was the highest ever for a female Canadian ski jumper at the World Championships.

This past year has been monumental for Mikaël Kingsbury. Some of his most outstanding accomplishments included a gold and silver medal at the World Championships, two Crystal Globes and seven straight World Cup wins.

In the most impressive season of his young career, Kingsbury has been presented with the Male Athlete of the Year Award by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. This award goes out to the best Canadian male freestyle skier of the 2014-2015 season.

“It’s a big honour for me,” said Kingsbury. “We have the best freestyle skiing team in the world. I look up to many of those athletes on our team too. It’s a great feeling. It motivates me to do more.”

After a disappointing start to the World Cup circuit with a ninth place finish in Ruka, Finland, Kingsbury bounced back with an amazing run of seven consecutive World Cup victories.

“I told myself to stop focusing on the result and to start focusing on myself,” Kingsbury explained. “I have the ability to win all the time. From there I just tried to ski the best I possibly can and managed to win seven World Cups in a row. I felt at some point the confidence and I knew I could do it. It was pretty special.”

The 22 year-old out of Deux-Montagnes, Quebec began his win streak on home soil at a World Cup event in Calgary, Alberta. From there, he was untouchable to his competition, leading to both the Crystal Globe award for men’s moguls and the overall Crystal Globe for all men’s freestyle skiing.

“It took off a lot of pressure winning in Calgary. I like the course there. I went into Deer Valley on a high and ended up winning there to reclaim the yellow bib. I never wanted to let it go after that. It was an awesome feeling to be back on top and to aim for the Crystal Globe. To me it’s like the Stanley Cup. Winning the Crystal Globe was a big goal of mine.”

On top of all these accomplishments, Kingsbury also won the World Title in dual moguls and earned silver in the mogul competition at the World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria. His seven straight World Cup victories broke the record originally set by American Jeremy Bloom set in 2005. Kingsbury had tied the streak once before during the 2011-2012 season

“Jeremy Bloom was an amazing athlete. He was one of my idols when I was growing up,” said Kingsbury. “I used to watch him at a young age and actually remember when he got the record. I always thought it was one of the hardest records to achieve. The thought of him winning six in a row is crazy. To be able to tie it a couple years ago and now break it was an honour.”

The seventh consecutive win also marked Kingsbury’s 28th career World Cup victory, which tied the record held by French skier, Edgar Grospiron. While tying this record was a huge accomplishment, Kingsbury is determined to be the sole record holder by next season.

“For this summer I’m motivated by the all-time wins record. I know I just need one more World Cup victory. Edgar Grospiron was also an idol of mine. That’s a record I never thought I’d be at.”

In the long term, Kingsbury has his sights set on Olympic gold. While this is a major goal of his, he will take things one step at a time, continuing to work on his individual skills. Despite being the best mogul skier of the World circuit right now, he is not satisfied yet and will push himself even harder over the next few years.

“I’m just going to take things one year at a time, but I would like to improve on what I did in Sochi. I’m going to train hard and be ready. I’m still young and I still have a lot more to do in my career.”

Moguls2Presented to the most outstanding Canadian female freestyle skier at the national level, Olympic and World champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe has received the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association Female Athlete of the Year award.

“I’m really excited that the CFSA created these awards and I think it’s a great way for us to push our goals,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “Being the recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award is a privilege and feels very special. I’m grateful for this recognition. I think we will all strive higher to win this title in the future.”

The 21 year-old Montreal native holds an extensive list of accomplishments which led her to be chosen for this award. The most significant among her victories this season was her World Championship gold medal in Kreischberg, Austria.

Less than one year after her gold medal performance in the Sochi Olympic Games, Dufour-Lapointe added a moguls World Championship title to her rapidly growing list of achievements. With a score of 87.25 points, she was able to beat out her American rival Hannah Kearney who recorded 85.66.

“Being able to win the World Championships after winning a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games was great. I realize how special it is now,” said Dufour-Lapointe as she reflected on the past season. “After an Olympic year, this season was all about the World Championships. I really pushed myself there. I was really proud of myself. It was my ultimate goal for this season.”

While the World Championship gold medal was the biggest victory of Dufour-Lapointe’s season, she had several other podium finishes to accompany it. She collected first place World Cup finishes in the Deer Valley dual moguls competition and in the moguls contest in Lake Placid. On both occasions, she came in ahead of second place American, Kearney.

Dufour-Lapointe also received a silver medal in dual moguls at the World Championships, a second place finish in the moguls competition in Deer Valley and two third place finishes in World Cup events. As a result, Dufour-Lapointe finished second overall in the Crystal Globe standings for mogul skiers.

After coming out on top in both the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2015 World Championships, the youngest of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters has demonstrated an impressive ability to perform at her best when the stakes are the highest.

“I’ve always been a really competitive girl. I love the feeling of competing. I’ve been that way since I was a kid,” Dufour-Lapointe explained. “I had trouble back then training because I just wanted to race. As I grew up, I got used to it and started to realize that the preparation was important to be ready.”

Dufour-Lapointe’s focus going forward into next season and the following years is on preparation and training for the next Olympic Games in South Korea, as well as building a relationship with her new coaches.

“Right now it’s all about the four year Olympic cycle that we started this year. I want to get closer to my coaches, try new tricks, and push myself more. I just want to be a better skier,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “The Crystal Globe is my next goal. It’s not about being great on one day, but being consistent throughout the season. It’s a different mindset.”

Through all of her recent success, Dufour-Lapointe continues to push herself, always seeking improvement and trying to become a better skier. She remains focused on her personal goals, regardless of what it takes to accomplish them.

“You have to think about your goals every day. It’s not always about winning, sometimes it’s about the process to get you there.”

heil-jenn-620-951x442One of the greatest Canadian freestyle skiers of all time, Jennifer Heil, was honoured with an induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on April 22, 2015. The 32 year-old Spruce Grove, Alberta native has been an inspiration to young Canadian athletes. In her 10 years on the moguls World Cup circuit, Heil collected an impressive 58 podium finishes, including 25 wins. In light of her most recent accomplishment, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association revisits some of the highlights of Heil’s outstanding skiing career:

1) Olympic Gold in Torino
Heil’s greatest accomplishment in freestyle skiing was her gold medal victory in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. After narrowly missing the podium as an 18-year-old rookie in the 2002 Olympics, Heil blew away the competition in 2006. After finishing first in the qualifying run, Heil posted a score of 26.50 in the final run, 0.85 better than defending Olympic gold medallist, Kari Traa to take the gold medal. Not only was this Heil’s first ever Olympic medal, it was also the first ever Olympic medal for Canada in women’s moguls and the first medal for Canada in the 2006 Olympic Games.

2) Olympic Silver in Vancouver
Another huge achievement was winning an Olympic silver medal on home soil at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. As the defending Olympic gold medallist with the unwavering support of the home crowd, Jennifer Heil came out with an exceptional final run and finished second overall to give Canada its first medal of the 2010 Olympic Games and its first Olympic medal at home in over 20 years.

3) 3 Dual Moguls World Championships Gold Medals
Throughout her career, Jennifer Heil has found the most success in the dual moguls competition on the World Cup circuit. She won the dual moguls World Championships gold medal on three separate occasions in her career. In 2005, Heil defeated Kari Traa in the dual moguls final to claim her first ever World Championship gold medal in Ruka, Finland. Her second dual moguls victory came at the 2007 World Championship in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. Her third victory in World Championships dual moguls came in 2011, her final year on the world circuit, as she defeated Canadian teammate Chloe Dufour-Lapointe to capture the gold.

4) 2011 Moguls World Championships Gold Medal
In the final World Championship event of her freestyle skiing career, Jennifer Heil won her first ever single moguls world title to sweep the women’s moguls World Championship with gold medals in both moguls events. In the single moguls event, Heil defeated long-time American rival Hannah Kearney to take the 2011 title in Deer Valley, USA.

5) 2011 Athlete of the Year
In 2011, Heil was named the Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year. The trophy, officially named the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award, was given to Heil in a year that saw her win two World Championship gold medals.

6) 2007 Overall Crystal Globe Winner
In 2007, Heil had arguably the best season of her career, as she won medals in eight of the nine World Cup events that she competed in. With this success, she earned the Overall Crystal Globe Award, meaning she was not only the women’s moguls World Cup champion, but the overall World Cup champion of freestyle skiing.

7) 2001 International Ski Federation Rookie of the Year
In 2001, her first year on the World Cup circuit, Heil was named the International Ski Federation’s Rookie of the Year. This award was received after she placed fourth overall in women’s moguls World Cup standings, finishing on the podium twice and recording five finishes in the top 10.

In addition to her outstanding athletic career, Jennifer Heil has also made significant contributions to a number of different charitable organizations, most notably co-founding the B2Ten organization. This group helps to raise money for amateur Canadian athletes, in order to assist them in pursuing their dreams of becoming Olympic athletes. Not only has Jennifer inspired young athletes to achieve greatness, but she is also helping to make their dreams a reality with the B2Ten organization.

Snow Sports Canada and the CFSA is proud to recognize all of her accomplishments, especially her well-deserved induction into Canada Sports Hall of Fame. The hard work and dedication that Jennifer continues to put into Canadian sport has inspired a generation of athletes to dream a little bigger and be the best version of themselves inside and outside of their sport.

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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

 

periprofilePerianne is coming off two of her best seasons ever as a member of the National Ski Team where she broke through to win her first two World Cup medals. Perianne teamed up with Chandra Crawford to win the bronze in a team sprint race in Milano, Italy in 2012, and reached the World Cup podium again last year in a team sprint – this time on the Olympic course in Sochi, Russia with Daria Gaiazova. Perianne accomplished her Olympic dream in 2010 where she hit the start line for the sprint and 15-kilometre race distances. After a very successful three-year stint on the Junior Canadian Team, the young Canuck is now one of the top women’s skiers in the country, and is making her tracks against the best in the world. Perianne posted a career-best individual sprint performance last year when she was ninth in Liberec, Czech Republic.

What comes first – the chicken or the egg? The same could be said for Perianne as to whether she learned to walk or cross-country ski first. Perianne stepped into her first set of cross-country skis at just three years old when she joined a Jackrabbit ski group in her hometown of Almonte, Ont. A love for the outdoors and sport helped propel the devoted youngster to the next level in Nordic skiing. At 15, her family joined the Nakkertok Ski Club in Ottawa and her career took off. Perianne quickly became part of the racing team and competed at a high-level throughout high school on both the Nakkertok and Ontario teams.

Perianne is equally busy off the snow as she is on. A competitive cross-country runner during her high school years, she still enjoys being active with training and running in the summer months, and is taking some post-secondary classes. When she does find some free time, she spends it with family or cooking tasty vegetarian meals.

For Peri’s full bio visit: http://cccski.com/National-Ski-Team/Athlete-Information/Senior-World-Cup-Team/Perianne-Jones.aspx 

11 Athletes Nominated to Historic Men’s and Women’s Teams

Cross Country Canada announced today the men and women officially nominated onto the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Cross Country Skiing Team.

The six men: Alex Harvey (St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Quebec); Devon Kershaw (Sudbury, Ontario); Ivan Babikov (Canmore, Alberta); Graeme Killick (Fort McMurray, Alberta); Jesse Cockney (Canmore, Alberta); and Lenny Valjas (Toronto, Ontario); and five women: Chandra Crawford (Canmore, Alberta); Daria Gaiazova (Banff, Alberta); Heidi Widmer (Banff, Alberta); Emily Nishikawa (Whitehorse, Yukon); and Perianne Jones (Almonte, Ontario) were nominated during an announcement at Altadore School in Calgary.

ccskinationalsCanada is set to send one of its most talented teams of cross-country skiers of yet to the start line with a focus on contributing to the nation’s medal count at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. For the first time ever, Canada qualified a core group of seven veterans – six of them Olympians who have all won medals on the World Cup circuit over the last four years. Each of these athletes qualified based on their World Cup results over the last two years.

“This is a medal-winning team that has evolved from a group of talented athletes excited to be on the start line into a group of determined high-performers focused on winning, and confident in their ability to achieve podium results,” said Tom Holland, High-Performance Director, Cross Country Canada.

The final four athletes including Graeme Killick, Jesse Cockney, Heidi Widmer and Emily Nishikawa, earned the last four spots to round out the Canadian Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team following Cross Country Canada’s Olympic Trials held last week in Canmore, Alberta.

“Depth is critical towards mounting an attack on the podium in any sport, and we have seen through the development of our elite program, that our women are hungry to win another medal at the Games, while us guys are now racing to win the country’s first-ever Olympic medal,” said Devon Kershaw, who was the first Canadian male along with Alex Harvey to win a gold medal at the World Championships.

“Our cross-country skiers have been training ferociously with unmatched dedication in order to be at the top of their game as we head into Sochi,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “On behalf of the COC, I congratulate all 11 of our phenomenal cross-country skiing athletes – your country will certainly be cheering you on as you take to the snow in Russia.”

The athletes were officially introduced by seven lucky Calgary kids in front of more than 270 of their fellow students that painted the gym red with clothing at Altadore School. After being introduced, the athletes led by  Cross Country Canada`s official mascot, Klister, took the kids along with the school’s teachers and officials from the COC and Cross Country Canada to the playground where they competed in a fun relay race.

Ski tracks were set in the Altadore schoolyard for the students who are currently enjoying a week of introductory cross-country ski instruction courtesy of the Foothills Nordic Ski at School program – a local initiative to deliver cross-country skiing opportunities to students in Calgary area schools each winter.

“What pride we will feel as a country watching our talented athletes representing Canada at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi,” said  Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament (Calgary-Centre). “With your talent and determination, you will have us holding our breath as you outdo yourselves facing some of the world’s greatest cross-country skiers. We are very proud of you! Best of luck with final preparations and good luck!”

Led by Beckie Scott’s first-ever medal for Canada in the sport of cross-country skiing at the 2002 Olympics when she skied to the gold, Canada has three Olympic medals in total. Scott also won a silver in the team sprint with Sara Renner in 2006 – the same year Chandra Crawford won the gold medal in the skate-sprint race.

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 cross-country ski athletes nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:

Women:    
First Last Hometown
Chandra Crawford Canmore, AB
Daria Gaiazova Banff, AB
Emily Nishikawa Whitehorse, YK
Perianne Jones Almonte, ON
Heidi Widmer Banff, AB
     
Men:    
First Last Hometown
Alex Harvey St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC
Devon Kershaw Sudbury, O
Ivan Babikov Canmore, AB
Lenny Valjas Toronto, ON
Graeme Killick Fort MacMurray, AB
Jesse Cockney Canmore, AB


These 11 cross-country skiers now join 10 speed skaters, 10 Curling athletes, 16 bobsledders, seven lugers, four skeleton athletes, 21 women hockey players, eight biathletes, five snowboarders, 25 men hockey players, three skiers and 17 figure skaters, as the next members on the Canadian Olympic Team. Up to seven more teams will be announced between now and February.

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.