Calgary, Alta. (April 24, 2018) – The 2017-18 Canadian Alpine Ski Team World Cup season has wrapped up and four Canadians finished in the top 30 World Cup rankings. There were also a number of World Cup personal bests, first-ever World Cup starts from development team athletes and best-ever Olympic performances. Here are the highlights from the 2017-18 season.
LADIES’ CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM
The ladies’ technical team shone brightly this season with veteran Erin Mielzynski (Collingwood, Ont.) leading the charge. Fresh young talent, Laurence St-Germain (St. Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.) and Roni Remme (Collingwood, Ont.) stepped up this season earning World Cup points in slalom and wow-ing the country with impressive performances.
Mielzynski found her rhythm and had one her most consistent seasons, finishing in the top 15 six times on the World Cup circuit. This put her into the top 15 World Cup slalom overall ranking, up from 24th-place in the 2016-17 season. 27-year-old Mielzynski showed incredible skiing this season, winning the second run in the Zagreb, CRO slalom by 0.30 seconds. She capped off the season winning Female Athlete of the Year at the Audi 2018 Canadian Ski Racing Awards and the Canadian National Championship slalom title.
Valérie Grenier (Mont-Tremblant, Que.) competed in her first Olympic Games, starting in giant slalom, super-G, downhill and alpine combined. Grenier put down one of the best Canadian female results in the Olympic alpine combined, finishing in sixth-place. Grenier embraced the full World Cup circuit, racing in both tech and speed disciplines, capturing three top-30 results this season. She finished off the season as the Canadian National Giant Slalom Champion.
Both St-Germain and Remme are NCAA athletes who dedicated this season to ski full-time on the World Cup circuit. St-Germain (23-years-old) punched into the top 30 in 2015 but found great success this season capturing a 14th and 17th-place finish on the World Cup circuit. She also finished 15th at her first-ever Olympic Winter Games.
Remme showed her emerging talents as an all-around skier, having her first World Cup starts this season in downhill, super-G and slalom. The 22-year-old excelled in slalom picking up an 11th and 26th-place finish on the World Cup circuit. At her first Olympic Games, Remme showed promise in speed and tech disciplines, finishing in 27th-place in the slalom and 23rd in downhill.
Rounding out the women’s team are Mikaela Tommy (Wakefield, Que.), Stefanie Fleckenstein (West Vancouver, B.C.) and Candace Crawford (Toronto, Ont.). Tommy highlighted the 2017-18 season and picked up the overall Nor-Am Cup giant slalom title and finished third overall in alpine combined and in the overall title. This was Fleckenstein’s first year on the National Team. She had 13 top-10 Nor-Am Cup finishes in all five disciplines: downhill, super-G, alpine combined, giant slalom and slalom. Crawford attended her first Olympics this season and achieved a 25th-place in the giant slalom and 29th in the super-G.
MEN’S CANADIAN ALPINE SKI TEAM
Dustin Cook (Ottawa, Ont.) was the Audi 2018 Canadian Ski Racing Award Male Athlete of the Year, exemplifying consistency and excellence in super-G on the World cup tour. Cook finished in the top-25 in every World Cup super-G race this year, with a season-best 11th-place result. The 29-year-old competed in his first Olympic Games this winter and finished the super-G in ninth-place; the best male Canadian result in alpine at the 2018 Games. The top 11 Olympic finishers were within less than one second of each other, demonstrating the highly competitive nature of men’s speed on the World Cup circuit. Cook finished the season ranked17th in the overall super-G standings.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver, B.C.) achieved a top-30 overall World Cup ranking in two disciplines, finishing 11th overall in downhill and 20th overall in super-G. The 34-year-old attended his fourth Olympic Games finishing with a 14th-place in downhill and 22nd-place in super-G. On the World Cup circuit, Osborne-Paradis had a season-best fifth-place result in the Kvitfjell, NOR super-G, which qualified him for World Cup Finals.
23-year-old Broderick Thompson (Whistler, B.C.), had a breakout season, cracking the top 30 in downhill for the first time in his career. After back-to-back 23rd-place finishes in the first two downhill races of the season, Thompson earned himself a spot at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. He continued to show promise on the World Cup circuit picking up an eighth-place and 17th-place finish in alpine combined. At the Olympics, Thompson finished in 23rd-place in both the super-G and alpine combined races. He’ll be one to watch in the coming years as he continues to learn and grow on the World Cup speed circuit.
Benjamin Thomsen (Invermere, B.C.) returned to the 2017-18 season healthy and strong after overcoming injuries last season. Thomsen was back into the top-30 this season in downhill and qualified for the 2018 Olympic Games where he finished with a 28th-place and three top-30 results on the World Cup circuit.
Erik Read (Calgary, Alta.) led the men’s tech team in top-30 World Cup performances, including a 13th-place in the parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia, ITA. Read showed consistency in both slalom and giant slalom, finishing 30th overall in the giant slalom World Cup rankings and 32nd in slalom. At his first ever Olympics, Read finished 11th in the giant slalom and 29th in the slalom. Read won the Canadian National Championship title in slalom this year for the third time in his career.
Trevor Philp (Calgary, Alta.) went to his second Olympic Games this season, where he finished 18th in the giant slalom. Philp made gains on the World Cup circuit this season, capturing four top-30 results, achieving his personal-best 11th-place giant slalom result. Philp capped off the season winning the Canadian National Championship title in giant slalom for the fourth year in a row.
Rounding out the men’s tech team is Phil Brown (Toronto, Ont.) who also went to his second Olympic Games, finishing 27th in the giant slalom and 22nd in the slalom. Brown had a season-best 22nd-place result in the Wengen, SUI slalom, finding more success on the Nor-Am Cup circuit where he won a giant slalom and slalom race.
Jeffrey Read (Calgary, Alta.), Sam Mulligan (Vancouver, B.C.), Jack (James) Crawford (Toronto, Ont./ Whistler, B.C.) and Brodie Seger (Whistler, B.C.) all had their first World Cup starts in at least one discipline this season. Read had his World Cup debut on the same track (Wengen, SUI) where his father, Ken Read, won in 1980.
Crawford had his first super-G World Cup start in 2016 and added starts in downhill giant slalom to his record this year. He also attended his first Olympic Games, racing in the alpine combined, super-G and giant slalom.
Seger had his first World Cup start this season on home snow at Lake Louise and went on to race five more World Cups in both super-G and downhill. He had a season-best 43rd result in the Garmisch, GER downhill. He’ll be one to watch next year as he continues to start more tracks the World Cup circuit.
Plagued by injury in the 2016-17 season, Megarry returned to the Nor-Am Cup circuit in 2017-18 where he picked up multiple top-ten results in multiple disciplines.
The entire World Cup circuit was plagued by injuries this season and Alpine Canada athletes were not spared. Notably missing from the Canadian team were Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac Etchemin, Que.) and Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, Que.).
Gagnon, one of Canada’s leading all-around racers, crashed at Lake Louise in early December, ending her season. She’s been diligently rehabbing since her surgeries, and is already back on her bike and looking forward to getting on skis.
Guay started off the season with promise of more podiums after an incredible 2016-17 season. After the first speed races at Lake Louise at the end of November, Guay struggled with back pain for a few weeks before finally pulling the plug on his season to focus on recovery. Guay’s back pain kept him from competing in what would have been his fourth Olympic Games. Despite a frustrating season for Guay, he remains Canada’s most prolific alpine skier with 25 World Cup podiums and two World Championship victories.
Ali Nullmeyer (Toronto, Ont.) also missed out this season with two knee injuries sustained in the early part of the season while training in Sölden, AUT. Nullmeyer had both knees reconstructed and has been focusing on her rehabilitation to get back on snow and in the gates.
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.