Calgary, Alta. (DATE) – Tristan Tafel, the 26-year-old Canmore, Alberta-native has retired from the Canada Ski Cross Team after five successful years on the World Cup circuit.
Tafel began his career on the Canadian Alpine Development Team before making the switch to the Canada Ski Cross Team in 2011 where he made a name for himself on the circuit with his lightning fast starts and comfort in the air. In his first year with the sport, Tafel proved himself on the Nor-Am circuit claiming 10 podiums, including five wins and taking the overall 2011 Nor-Am Cup title. In 2012 and 2014, Tafel was crowned the Canadian Champion in ski cross and was runner up in 2011 and 2016.
On the World Cup circuit, Tafel took home first-place in 2012 in the Bischofswiesen, Germany, making him the youngest Canadian to achieve this title. He is among an elite group of five Canadian men who have won a ski cross World Cup event. The following year he won second-place in the 2013 Grasgehren, Germany race. In total, Tafel closes out his career with eight top-ten World Cup finishes and a further 16 top 30 finishes.
“Winning my first World Cup is my proudest accomplishment and I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to spend five years with Canada Ski Cross,” said Tafel. “Standing on my career-first podium was even more exciting because I was joined by John Teller and Chris Del Bosco, two guys I really looked up to. I have amazing memories and experiences from my time on the team that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. It’s been a great experience getting to know everyone on the team.”
“Tristan was probably one of the most gifted athletes we have ever seen in our program and was renowned for his quick start and ease of navigating difficult terrain and jumps,” said Willy Raine, Canada Ski Cross Athletic Director. “He loved the challenge of the most demanding courses with the biggest jumps with X-Games being his favourite venue. He was always quick to share his knowledge and understanding of the sport with his teammates to help make our program stronger.”
“Tristan was a great skier and a great racer,” says teammate, Brady Leman. “It was exciting to race against him and we all pushed each other on the hill. I wish him the best of luck moving forward and hope to see him on the slopes very soon!”
“I’m leaving the team rich with experiences and a deeper love for ski communities around the world,” said Tafel. “I can’t wait to revisit some of my favourite stops as a tourist. This winter I’ll be taking a step back from ski cross but the sport will never be too far from me. I’ll be trading in my race skis and spending a lot more time touring the mountains in Alberta and B.C. over the next few months. It’s be a great ride and I can’t wait to watch Canada Ski Cross dominate the circuit again this year!”
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