FIRST WORLD CUP WIN FOR CANADA’S TURGEON AS ALL CANADIANS FINISH TOP FIVE
Calgary, Alberta. (February 8, 2023) — Frédérique Turgeon’s (Candiac, QC) incredible season got even better on Wednesday, as the 23-year-old captured her first World Cup downhill win, skiing to the top spot in the Saalbach-Hinterglemm, AUT women’s standing race with a time of 1:17.79.
Her win adds to a season where she skied to downhill bronze at the World Championships in January. That was her fourth World Championship medal, having won a silver and two bronze at the 2019 IPC Alpine World Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovakia.
The World Championship podium was also her first since leaving the Beijing 2022 Olympics with a severe injury, and she’s not slowed down since returning to competition.
“Today went really well for me. I had a plan, and I think I executed that plan quite well; I’m very stoked about how it kind of just built up to this moment,” Turgeon said. “I was in the start, fully ready to go, and I really wanted to win this one, and I’m really glad I did. I knew I had it in me, so it was really sweet to come across the finish line and see that time.”
Racing conditions were near perfect at the Austrian resort on Wednesday, with unlimited visibility and well-maintained snow, something not often seen across Europe this season. The early morning inspection also kept the run in the shadows, keeping it cool before the sun splashed over the run by the first skier kicking out of the gate.
“We’ve been excited to come here all year,” said Canada Para Alpine Head Coach Will Marshall. “Saalbach is a very demanding hill - challenging terrain, high speeds and difficult snow conditions.”
On the men’s standing side, Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC) skied to fifth, taking a slight bobble in the middle of the run but pushing down to the finish with a time of 1:10.98, leaving the two-time Paralympic medalist +1.44 seconds off the podium.
Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB), who is back at the top level this season after dealing with injury and missing the Paralympics a year ago, looked poised to make the men’s sitting podium but slipped off his ski on the final jump, finishing fourth, just +0.18 seconds off the top three.
“We’re extremely proud of how all the athletes skied today and have approached this challenge. To see our group consistently in the top five shows, we have some great depth,” Marshall said. “We were able to create some great speed environments in the prep this season, and a lot of work from our entire staff and athletes paid off today.”
The Canadian team takes on the second of back-to-back downhills in Saalbach-Hinterglemm on Thursday with Turgeon looking to improve, despite coming off her first World Cup downhill win.
“I do think I can go faster on some sections, and I know I’m going to do that tomorrow,” she said. “I’m really stoked about today, and I’m really glad about how everything went, and it couldn’t have gone better, and I’m going to do that again tomorrow."
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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.