Calgary, Alta. (October 22, 2019) – Six Canadian athletes will kick off the FIS Alpine World Cup season this weekend in Sölden, AUT, with both men’s and women’s GS races. This is the first stop on the World Cup tour; following that, athletes will travel throughout Europe, North America and Asia in the pursuit of the podium.
This season, rule changes to the World Cup circuit, should prove beneficial to our Canadian athletes. Here is what we can expect to see:
- Alpine Combined (AC) will remain on the World Cup calendar and will be featured at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. This is a big win for athletes such as Roni Remme, Trevor Philp, Broderick Thompson & Marie Michèle Gagnon; who are all ranked within the top 25 in the world (based on FIS points) for this event.
- An increase in the number of World Cup Parallel race events. This head to head format is extremely exciting to watch and provides excellent training for the team event, which Canadians have historically excelled at (2nd– 2015 WCH, 5th– 2017 WCH).
Who to Watch
Coming off one of their most successful seasons in recent history, the women’s team is excited to get back in the start gate and chase down more personal best and podium results.
NCAA Student-Athlete Roni Remme led the women’s team’s success last season by stepping on her first World Cup podium, a 2nd place in the AC at Crans Montana, SUI. Remme proved she’s got the speed to battle with the best in the world, winning the slalom portion of two AC races last season.
Laurence St. Germain is also coming off a breakthrough season, with eight top-15 World Cup finishes and is hungry for more. Slalom specialist and consistent contender in the parallel events, Erin Mielzynski will be looking to improve on her consistent seven top-12 results from last season.
Valérie Grenier and Candace Crawford are both working through return to snow programs after last year’s season ending injuries. Crawford will be charging out of the start gate this weekend in Sölden, ready to return to the World Cup circuit. Grenier will be back on snow later this fall chasing her strong top five results from last season. Marie-Michèle Gagnon’s return to snow last season was highlighted by a 6th place finish in the St. Moritz, SUI SG. Watch for her to continue to gain confidence and speed as she enters into the 2019/20 season. Rounding out the Canadian women’s contingent on the World Cup circuit are Amelia Smart, Ali Nullmeyer, Mikaela Tommy & Stefanie Fleckenstein.
“Our goal is to keep the momentum going this season, and having all the athletes back on-snow will be a benefit to the whole team. Having athletes such as Amelia and Ali with us is also a great addition to our training. I am excited for the continuation of Alpine Combined events; this event fits the character of our team with multiple athletes that are capable of skiing more than one discipline.” Manuel Gamper, Women’s Head Coach.
Erik Read, son of famed Crazy Canuck, Ken Read, finished last season with five top-21 World Cup results. Read will be battling for consistency in every race, after showing repeated success in his second runs last season. Trevor Philp had a career best season last year with seven top-20 World Cup results. Philp has the speed to win World Cups, tying the famed Marcel Hirscher for the top time in the Bansko, Alpine Combined slalom portion. Young-gun Simon Fournier claimed the NorAm overall SL title in 2018/19, giving him a World Cup SL starting position for this season. With only three World Cup starts to his name, Fournier is looking to gain World Cup experience this year.
When asked about his thoughts on the upcoming season, men’s tech Head Coach Dusan Grasic said: “This is our second season together as a team and we were lucky to get in some great summer training. Running time trials against other nations this summer, we are closing the gap. I have a good feeling about this season and I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m right.”
Leading the men’s speed team are veterans Dustin Cook and Ben Thomsen. Thomsen is ready to put it all on the line this season and chase his impressive results from last year. 2015 World Champion Silver medallist, Dustin Cook has two world cup podiums to his name, and is looking to add more. Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Broderick Thompson will be returning to snow later this season after significant season-ending injuries last year.
The group of young Canadian speedsters are targeting Europa Cup success with a goal of gaining World Cup experience. Watch for Jack Crawford, Sam Mulligan, Jeff Read, and brother duo’s Brodie and Riley Seger, and Cameron and Kyle Alexander to start making their mark as the next group of Canadian greats. Keegan Sharp and Declan McCormack complete the roster for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.
John Kucera, one of the Canadian Cowboys, and 2009 Downhill World Champion, is the new Head Coach for the men’s speed team. “I’m excited to continue working with athletes that I have worked with for a number of years, who are now making the transition to the World Cup, as well as helping veterans like Dustin and Ben make the next step in their professional careers. We’re building a strong team that can represent Canada on the world stage for years to come.”
Alpine Canada’s full team roster can be found here.
What to Watch
The first stop of the 2019/20 season is this weekend in Sölden, Austria. Our athletes are ready to kick off the season, with Riley Seger making his World Cup debut. Keep your eye out for our starting athletes:
North American Stops
The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour will touch down in North America early in the season, with the speed events for both men & women in Lake Louise, AB, the men’s events at Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek, CO and the women’s tech events in Killington, VT.
Olympics Test Event
With only two years to go until the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the men’s speed team will get their first look at the race hill in Yanqing, CHN, with a test event scheduled to run February 12 to 16, 2020.
World Cup finals will be hosted in Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA this season, giving our athletes an opportunity to gain valuable experience on the 2021 World Championships venue, as well as the 2026 Olympic Winter Games venue.
Full WC calendar can be found here.
Where to Watch
The Broadcast Schedule for the season is available here.