Calgary, AB. (October 29, 2023) — The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season opened today with a women’s giant slalom in Sölden, Austria. In her 101st World Cup start, Valérie Grenier (St. Isidore, ON) raced to seventh place.
This marked the 30th anniversary of the Sölden World Cup and a large crowd was on hand on a beautiful sunny day to take in the racing. Today’s seventh place finish equals Grenier’s previous best result in Sölden in 2021.
“I’m happy with the result today, but really more relieved than anything,” said Grenier. “We’ve had some difficult training conditions the last little while and I came into the race today missing some confidence. I know that I can do better, but a top 10 in the opening race of the season is a good start.”
Britt Richardson (Canmore, AB) in her 11th World Cup start, had her best result in Sölden finishing 24th.
“Overall I’m really happy with the day and it’s exciting to be in the points at the first race of the season,” said a pleased Richardson. “I hope to bring this confidence and energy forward to the next races and to build off what I learned today.”
“I was less nervous on the second run,” added Richardson. “I was able to focus and to push as hard as I could. I made a little mistake coming off the pitch, but I was able to pull it out and make it to the finish.”
Cassidy Gray (Panorama, BC) finished 39th in the first run and missed qualifying for the second run, while Sarah Bennett (Stoneham, QC) didn’t finish the first run.
Sunday’s season opening race for the men was cancelled for safety and fairness reasons due to extreme wind conditions.
Next races: (link to FIS Calendar)
Men speed race two downhills at Zermatt-Cervinia, SUI, November 11 and 12
Women tech race a pair of slaloms at Levi, FIN, the same weekend
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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.