Tag Archives: taylor henrich

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.

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

 

Riddle & Sharpe

Double Halfpipe Gold in France

Cassie Sharpe and Mike Riddle both won gold in the final FIS world cup halfpipe event of the season in Tignes, France late last week. For Sharpe, it was her first world cup victory, and came against a field stacked with X Games and Olympic medalists. The gold medal for Riddle was the first time he has stood on the FIS podium since winning the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Gagnon Just Off the Podium

Finishing 14th after the first run, Marie-Michele Gagnon put down the third-fastest second run of the day to move up to a 5th place final result. Just 15 hundredths of a second off the podium, it was another strong result for the Alpine Canada athlete who has five top-10 finishes on the season.

Henrich Finishes Breakout Season on a High Note

Taylor Henrich has had a historic season for Ski Jumping Canada, landing the first Canadian women’s ski jumping world cup podium earlier this year, followed by an impressive fifth place result at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden. At the final world cup event of the year, Henrich capped off a record-setting season for Ski Jumping Canada by securing her second bronze medal of the season, finishing third in Norway.

Maltais & Hill Dominate in Veysonnaz

Two-time Olympian Dominique Maltais and 2015 World Championships silver-medallist Kevin Hill were dominant at the two snowboard cross races in Veysonnaz, Switzerland over the weekend. Maltais finished 4th and 1st, respectively, in the two races, while Hill took home two medals, winning bronze in both races on Saturday and Sunday.

Moguls Women Lead the Charge in Final Event of the Season

In the last event of what has been a truly remarkable and historic season for Canada’s moguls’ team, the women put on a dominating performance in Megeve, France, finishing with five athletes in the top six. Only the gold medal was to be missed by the female Canadian contingent this day.

Canada led the way with end-of-season awards, with Mikael Kingsbury taking his fourth consecutive crystal globe as the overall points leader, Philippe Marquis finishing third overall, and Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe taking second and third overall, respectively, to conclude the season. Canada was also named the Nations Cup winner, as the leading moguls’ nation on the season.

Leman Pulls Off Slick Move to Steal Silver

In only his second podium of the season, Brady Leman pulled off a gutsy move two thirds of the way down the race course in Megeve, France to move from fourth to second in the final world cup race of the season. A strong podium finish to the season for an athlete that had five top-ten performances on the world cup circuit.

 

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