Tag Archives: snow sports canada

Snowsportscanada.ca recently sat down with Matt Fisher, Director of Long Term Athlete Development and Strength & Conditioning Specialist at Level 10 fitness, to get an inside look at what recreational skiers and snowboarders can do to prepare for next snow season.

1. Get An Assessment

A full assessment with a physiotherapist, athletic therapist  or strength and conditioning coach is of the utmost importance for off season preparation, even if you don’t feel like you have an injury.  Often times an athletic therapist or physiotherapist can pick up anatomical imbalances or biomechanical issues that might not affect you in the present, but may creep up on you in the future.  Addressing these issues when you have time during the off season will save you a lot of frustration and missed days during the ski season.  Be aware though, not all trainers and strength coaches are created equal, so do your homework on who you are going to see for an assessment.

2. Work On Flexibility and Mobility 

Most of us are already too tight or stiff from our everyday lives due to sitting too much at the office, driving all day or slouching over for computer work . It is important to strengthen the body in a proper, full range of motion on a regular basis in order to ensure that you maintain your flexibility and prepare your body for the awkward motions that may arise during skiing. Ensuring that you do proper stretching and foam rolling will keep you limber and has the ability to prevent you from stiffening up even more once you start a strength training program.

3. Try Something Completely Different

While surfing in the sunshine is a lot different than skiing in a blizzard, try participating in activities that are completely different than your snow sport of choice. For example, feel free to indulge in recreational sports such as soccer, softball, or hiking,  so that your body gets a rest and your mind avoids the monotony of the same old movement patterns year round.

4. Improve Neck Strength

While there isn’t a lot of available research to support this, one of the greatest risks in snow sports are head injuries and concussions. Strengthening the neck and surrounding muscle tissues can minimize the potential damage from a traumatic head or neck injury.  While we’d like to avoid all injuries, head injuries are one’s to be taken most seriously and have the greatest long term implications. The best bet beyond wearing a proper sized helmet that fits well is to strengthen the neck.

5. Strengthen Your Glutes

The gluteals are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Although glute strengthening is important for all athletes, the role that the glutes play (particularly the gluteus medius) in knee health is extremely important for snow sport athletes, as the knee is a joint that withstands a lot of tension throughout a day on the slopes. Most individuals have a weak gluteal group due to basic daily movement patterns. Strengthening the gluteal muscle group not only improves performance for skiers and snowboarders, but also ensures proper alignment of the hip, knee and ankle, therefore minimizing the risk of ACL, PCL, and MCL injuries during the season.

About Matt Fisher: Currently, Matt is the lead Strength and Conditioning coach for the Canadian National Slopestyle Team and works individually with several other national snow sport athletes, including Ski Cross athlete Dave Duncan and Half Pipe Skier Matt Margetts. Matt has had the opportunity to work with thousands of athletes over his 12 year career from the grassroots up to international and professional, including 9 Olympic teams and 3 Paralympic teams.

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.

Sharpe_Quebec City Big Air

Aerials Team Soars to the Finals in Moscow

The Canadian aerials team put in their strongest performance of the season this past Saturday under the lights in Moscow, Russia. Travis Gerrits and Olivier Rochon finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead an excellent result for the Canadian team. Canada was the only nation to have two athletes in the six-man final round.

“This is why I’ve always believed in Travis so much. I know what he’s capable of. He was more consistent and his landings are becoming better.” –Dennis Capicik, Head Coach

Taylor Henrich Stays Hot at World Championships

Henrich has been the toast of the Canadian ski jumping world ever since she made history with a podium in Germany earlier this year. She continued the strong season at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden this weekend with a fifth place finish in the ski jump – Canada’s best ever results by a female ski jumper at a world championships. Henrich won the qualification event on Thursday, but unfortunately a strong wind mid-jump made it unable for her to ace the landing, causing the judges to dock points and see her position slip to fifth.

Alex Harvey Makes History in Falun

First a silver, then a bronze for Alex Harvey in Sweden. At the biggest event of the year, the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, Harvey put in one of the best performances of his career when he won the silver medal in the sprint race this past Thursday. Not happy with just one medal, Harvey became the first Canadian cross country skier to win two medals in a world championships when he finished third in the gruelling skiathlon two days later. Congratulations Alex!

Canada Snowboard Comes Up Big on Home Soil

One of the most exciting snow sports events on home soil, the Snowboard Jamboree, was hosted by Stoneham & Quebec City this past weekend. Under the bright lights of Quebec City, Darcy Sharpe and Tyler Nicholson went 1-2 in the big air event to lead the way for Canada Snowboard on the podium. Over in Stoneham, Michael Ciccarelli was leading a golden rush of his own, stealing the show and finishing first in the slopestyle event. Way to make your country proud guys!

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!

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TORONTO – November 27, 2014 – Mackenzie Financial Corporation (Mackenzie Investments) is pleased to officially launch its long-term sponsorship of Snow Sports Canada this weekend at the Men’s Downhill and Super G Alpine World Cup at Lake Louise, Alberta followed by the Audi FIS Cross World Cup Ski Cross at Nakiska, Alberta on December 6th, where Mackenzie Investments is supporting sponsor.

“Mackenzie Investments commends the passion for excellence that these top performing athletes bring to their races and we look forward to following their achievements, as well as those of their peers in other snow sports, throughout this season,” said Jeff Carney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mackenzie Investments.

Snow Sports Sponsorship

In September, Mackenzie Investments announced a long-term sponsorship of Snow Sports Canada, providing support to seven premier national snow sport organizations including Alpine Canada, Biathlon Canada, Canada Snowboard, Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, Cross Country Canada, Nordic Combined Canada and Ski Jumping Canada. Mackenzie Investments is also building on its long history of supporting grassroots alpine skiing in its home province through a new five-year partnership with Alpine Ontario. This weekend is the official launch of that sponsorship on the slopes.

Mackenzie Investments is proud to sponsor three-time Olympic downhill racer Manny Osborne-Paradis at Lake Louise this weekend.

“The support of Mackenzie Investments will underpin everything our athletes do to achieve results this season and beyond. We are extremely grateful for this commitment and know it will help advance our competitors to the podium,” said Mark Rubinstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alpine Canada Alpin.

Mackenzie Investments has also entered into an agreement to be presenting sponsor of broadcast coverage of snow sports – including races, interviews and commentary – on CBC, Sportsnet and Ski Television. Key events of the season include:

  • Men’s Downhill and Super G Alpine World Cup, November 29-30, Lake Louise, Alberta
  • FIS Cross World Cup Ski Cross, December 6, Nakiska, Alberta
  • World Cup Moguls January 3, Calgary, Alberta
  • World Cup Moguls February 7, Val Saint-Côme, Quebec
  • Snowboard Jamboree February 20, 21, 22, Quebec City, Quebec
  • NorAm Championships and National Championships Biathlon March 9-15, Hinton, Alberta
  • National Championships Cross Country March 14-21, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Air Nation Freestyle Snowboard Nationals March 25-28, Whistler, British Columbia

For more information, please visit mackenzieinvestments.com

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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Snow Sports Canada, along with the entire snow sports community, would like to congratulate Pierre Harvey, Horst Bulau and Sarah Burke on their inductions into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Each of these athletes were champions of their sport, and helped to inspire the next generation of Canadian snow sports athletes.

Pierre Harvey, father of current Cross Country Skiing Canada team member Alex Harvey, was a dual Olympian, competing in both the 1984 Winter Games, and the Summer Games as a cyclist. Pierre was the first Canadian to win an international cross country skiing event when he won the 30km freestyle in Falun, Sweden.

Horst Bulau, an Ottawa native, is a four-time Winter Olympian and Canada’s most successful athlete in ski jumping with 13 World Cup victories. Horst is an active volunteer in the snow sports community, and is credited with raising the profile of ski jumping in Canada.

Sarah Burke was a four-time X Games gold medalist and a pioneer of freestyle skiing, the first female to land a 720, 900, and 1080 in a competition. A driving force behind the inclusion of women’s slopestyle and half-pipe at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Sarah tragically passed away at the age of 29 during a training accident in Utah in 2012. Sarah’s memory lives on with the Sarah Burke Foundation, and in the generation of freestyle athletes that she continues to inspire.

Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for all that you have done for snow sports in Canada! #weownsnow

Winter sports are part of Canadians’ DNA. When the snow starts to fall each winter, nearly 5.5 million of us take to the hills to pursue activities like downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing.

Canadians excel at these sports internationally too. We love to watch our best nordic, alpine and freestyle athletes compete, particularly during Olympic years when they make us proud on the podium. Always a winter sports nation, Canada has enjoyed increasing success at the Winter Olympic Games, culminating in our best ever performance at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, where our athletes won a best-ever 26 medals on home soil.


“Canadian athletes are in the hunt for gold, and there’s a lot of emotion and excitement attached to that. But training for their sports is these athletes’ careers. They do it day in, day out with very little attention. They wouldn’t be here if we didn’t support them outside Olympic years.”


Inspired by this success, young Canadian athletes join ski clubs all over the country that are the training ground for Canada’s national teams. There are approximately 93,000 registered members of Canada’s seven national snow sports organizations: Alpine Canada, Biathlon Canada, Canada Snowboard, Cross Country Ski Canada, Freestyle Canada, Nordic Combined Canada and Ski Jumping Canada.

Each of these organizations has invested in a wealth of expertise and resources to help its athletes achieve their best possible level of performance. “There’s a very technical focus,” says Davin McIntosh, executive director of Cross Country Canada. “National team athletes don’t just have a coach, they have a whole integrated support team of experts in physiology, medicine, bio-mechanics, nutrition, psychology – you name it.”

Alex Harvey and Canadian cross country ski team training

Now, they are reaching out to share this expertise with recreational snow sport participants, hoping to ensure safety, awareness and growing participation in each of their sports. To do so, they’ve formed a partnership called Snow Sports Canada.

“There’s a lot of money invested in research and development for Canada’s high performance athletes, and it seems a shame not to share it,” says Bill Cooper, partner at the Twentyten Group, a marketing and sponsorship agency working closely with Snow Sports Canada. “We think there’s an appetite among Canadians for fitness and nutrition advice, equipment tips and other ideas to help them get the most out of their snow sports experiences.”

Asked what led to this collaboration, McIntosh explains, “There are a lot of ties between our sports. Many families who downhill ski also enjoy cross country. They might be interested in watching a biathlon race or trying something new themselves. We have a supportive, enthusiastic cross country community, but we also have a lot to gain by reaching out to a broader group.”

The eyes of millions of Canadians will be on Canada’s national team athletes when they compete in Sochi this February, but in fact they need our support outside Olympic years. “Any time we have an Olympics, it’s a rallying point for our sports,” says McIntosh. “Canadian athletes are in the hunt for gold, and there’s a lot of emotion and excitement attached to that. But training for their sports is these athletes’ careers. They do it day in, day out with very little attention. They wouldn’t be here if we didn’t support them outside Olympic years.”

Snow Sports Canada and its seven partners hope that by sharing their expertise with Canada’s recreational snow sport participants, they can create a valuable asset that will attract sponsorship that can be invested in this athlete support.

“Snowsportscanada.ca will provide tips gathered from experts and athletes. We hope Canadians will get on board and help us steer the ship going forward, by telling us what kind of information they’re most interested in,” says Cooper.