Nakiska, CAN (January 14, 2022) -- The demanding terrain at Nakiska took its toll on racers today but Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON) persevered to race to a podium finish at home.
“Back on the podium after breaking my leg last year feels incredible, especially on home soil here at Nakiska,” says Kevin, “It feels fantastic and I’m going to take this momentum to Beijing.”
Through the grueling heats Kevin held his line and thwarted an attempt from Sweden’s Erik Mobaerg to pass on a tight corner to hold on to 2nd place, behind Mobaerg’s brother David.
As the lone Canadian in the big final – teammates Reece Howden, Chris Del Bosco and Brady Leman were all eliminated in the quarterfinal heats – the pressure was on to perform at home.
This podium is Kevin’s best finish of the season so far, steadily moving up the ranks since the season kicked off in Secret Garden, China in November 2021.
HARD FOUGHT BATTLE ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE
Hannah Schmidt (Mont-Tremblant, QC), skied into 5th place after winning the small final, leading a pack of three Canadians in the top 7. She was closely followed by teammates Courteny Hoffos (Windermere, B.C.) who was 6th and Brittany Phelan (Mont Tremblant) who finished 7th after coming into contact with several skiers throughout the heats.
“There were ups and downs today,” says Hannah who is en route to achieving her career best season following a 4th place at Innichen, ITA and two top 5 finishes in the last month. “The conditions were very challenging with lots of crashes and it was a true battle out there. I didn’t have the best semi-final but I was able to make it into the small final which was great.”
Courtney echoed her teammate’s comments: “it was pretty hectic day on the track,” says the racer who has been steadily in the top 10 all season including three top 6 results. “I had a crash in the first heat but fortunately, I was still able to get through. I think my skiing is good overall and I’m hoping to rest up this evening to push hard again tomorrow.”
Teammates Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) was 12th, Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) was 13th and Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, B.C.) was 15th, leaving the Canadian squad hungry for tomorrow.
Sweden’s dominant Sandra Naeslund took the top spot for the sixth time this season on the Ski Cross World Cup circuit. She was followed by her archrival, Switzerland’s Fanny Smith who now has six second place finishes. Germany’s Daniela Maier rounded out the top podium in third place.
This year’s event at the Nakiska Ski Resort marks ten years since the first Ski Cross World Cup was held at the venue in 2012. In the fourteen World Cup Ski Cross races held here, Canada has earned ten podium results.
Nakiska’s back-to-back race weekend continues tomorrow with the final Ski Cross World Cup qualifying event prior to the Olympics.
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About Alpine Canada
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 celebrated 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.