With Nakiska Mountain Resort providing an iconic Canadian backdrop, Alpine Canada’s Marielle Thompson stood atop the podium at the Audi FIS Nakiska Ski Cross World Cup this past Saturday, successfully defending her 2013 title. The rest of her Canadian teammates had a strong showing in Nakiska, with Georgia Simmerling following Thompson across the line to a second place finish in the women’s final, and Dave Duncan winning the men’s small final to secure fifth.
This year’s Audi FIS Nakiska Ski Cross World Cup supported by Mackenzie Investments hosted seventy-seven athletes from fifteen different countries, and thanks to great support from partners, the guest experience at the event was improved considerably from 2013.
Canada has had a reputation as a powerhouse ski cross nation ever since the sport made its debut at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Supported by Mackenzie Investments, the Nakiska Ski Cross is the only FIS World Cup Ski Cross event held on Canadian soil, and the first event on the FIS Ski Cross World Cup calendar.
“To finish first and second for Canada at home is fabulous”, said Thompson. “It was tight, but I managed to pull it off.”
The powerhouse Canadians came out strong in the qualifiers, and gave the large crowd of enthusiastic Alpine Canada supporters something to cheer about. Saturday, the final day of competition, was also National Ski Day, which brought out a large number of families and recreational skiers to the event, growing the crowd in both size and noise.
A technical course that wasn’t very forgiving to mistakes made for an exciting final day of competition on Saturday. “The whole course had tricks and nuances today,” said Duncan. “It was hard to ski fast, easier to go slow.”
Canadian Ski Cross athlete Kelsey Serwa, a 2014 Sochi Olympics silver medal winner who is taking the year off to rehab her knee, ran the mic and emceed the event throughout the day.
The next FIS Ski Cross World Cup event will be held in Innichen, Italy from December 20 to 21, 2014.
For full official results from Nakiska, see here.
For more pictures from Nakiska, check out the FIS Freestyle gallery.