A pair of fifths and career bests at World Ski Cross Championships for Hoffos and Howden
Calgary, AB, (February 13, 2021) – It was the young guns who held it down for Canada today in Idre Fjäll, SWE at the 2021 Ski Cross World Championships. Courtney Hoffos (Windermere, BC) and Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) both dominated the small finals to finish in fifth, career bests for both at the World Championships.
For Reece, who has been unstoppable this season in just his first full season on the World Cup tour, winning three stops on the tour and finding the podium in a fourth race, today’s finish was a reminder of how close you can come to winning every race.
“Today was almost perfect. I made one small mistake in the semifinals and that cost me getting into the big final and a chance at a medal,” reflected Reece. “I came back and recollected myself and skied well in the small final. I’m pretty happy. Just can’t make mistakes, it’s tough racing but ending on a good note.”
In the women’s race, Courtney, at her first World Championships and in only her second season on the World Cup tour was happy to put together a clean run in the small finals after so much time on the course.
“It was good, I had some really good sections and skied well. I tried to piece together a full run and I did that at the end, it was a good day!” Courtney said after the race.
Hannah Schmidt (Ottawa, ON), who is returning from injury and also at her first World Championships, had a personal best result finishing in 10th place on the strategy laden course.
“I felt pretty good, I had a really good qualification going into the heats today. I gave it all I had, if there was maybe 50 meters more it would have been a different story but that’s racing and it was quite good,” Hannah said.
The depth of the Canadian Ski Cross program was certainly on display in Sweden this week, with Kris Mahler (12th), Tiana Gairns (13th), and Zoe Chore (14th), all racing in their first World Championship event, adding to the list of strong finishes. The future looks bright for the reigning Nations Cup winners.
“When you look at how many athletes experienced their first World Champs and walked away with some newfound confidence, it makes me excited to see what we can accomplish as a team at the back end of the season,” said Head Coach Stanley Hayer. “Reece and Courtney’s dominant fifth-place finishes will be used as motivation. We are a team, and we will succeed as a team.”
The team will be back to racing and podium pursuits on the World Cup tour in Reiteralm, AUT on February 19th.
Men’s Ski Cross
5th – Reece Howden
12th – Kris Mahler
20th – Brady Leman
26th – Chris Del Bosco
Women’s Ski Cross
5th – Courtney Hoffos
10th – Hannah Schmidt
11th – Marielle Thompson
13th – Tiana Gairns
14th – Zoe Chore
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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrates 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.