Calgary, Alta. (January 22, 2023) – It was double podium day for Canada at today’s FIS Ski Cross World Cup in Idre Fjäll, Sweden. Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) capped a strong weekend with a win in the men’s race, and Marielle Thompson (Whistler BC) raced to third place in the women’s race.
On another beautiful day in Idre Fjäll, Howden was dominant. After finishing second in yesterday’s World Cup race, Howden won all today’s heats and led from start to finish in the finals. This is Howden’s second win of the season and fifth consecutive podium.
“It’s pretty sweet,” said grinning Howden. “It’s been a lot of work and having to do five races a day is tough. Fortunately, right now I’m fast and I’m focusing mentally to control what I can, and to keep fighting to just send it! It seems to be working out for me and I want to keep it rolling.”
“The team is skiing great, and I’m super stoked to see the whole team doing well.”
After winning yesterday’s small final to finish fifth, Thompson’s third place finish today is her fourth podium this World Cup season and her eight-career podium in Idre.
“Feels good to be back on the podium,” said Thompson. “I had to redeem myself after yesterday’s fifth place. I knew I had better skiing in me and I’m happy to make the big final and to be on the podium. It was tough racing today. There was some wind and you really had to work every feature to find speed wherever possible.”
In other racing today, Valérie Grenier (St-Isidore, ON) led the Canadian women at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup super-G race in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Starting 33rd, Grenier had a strong bottom of the course to finish 22nd and secure World Cup points. Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler, BC) placed 36th while Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac-Etchemin, QC) missed a gate about halfway down the course.
The last day of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kitzbühel, Austria saw the men race slalom. With the best weather of the week, and in front of 35,000 fans, Erik Read (Canmore, AB) led the Canadians with a 22nd place finish to score World Cup points. Jordan Asher (North Vancouver, BC), Liam Wallace (Calgary, AB) and Simon Fournier (Montréal, Que) also took to the course and didn’t finish their first run.
Back at ski cross in Idre Fjäll, Tiana Gairns (Prince George, BC) won today’s women’s small final to claim 5th, improving on yesterday’s seventh place finish. India Sherret (Cranbrook, BC) took 10th, Abby McEwen (Edmonton, AB) 11th, Hannah Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) 12th and Courtney Hoffos (Windermere, BC) was 15th.
On the men’s side in Idre, Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) raced to second in the small final to finish sixth. Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON) was 14th, Kris Mahler (Canmore, AB) 21st, Brady Leman (Calgary, AB) 25th and Carson Cook (Edmonton, AB) was 28th, rounding out the Canadians picking up World Cup points.
FIS Para Alpine Ski World Championships 2023 at Espot and La Molina, Spain, continue through January 30th.
FIS Junior World Ski Championships continue in St. Anton, Austria, through January 25th.
Men’s tech head to Schladming, Austria, for races January 24-25
Women tech are in Kronplatz, Italy, January 24-25 and then in Spindleruv Mlyn (CZE) Jan 28-29
Men speed travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, for races January 28 and 29.
Ski cross return to World Cup racing in Reiteralm, Austria, February 16 and 17.
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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.