BEIJING 2022 WINTER GAMES CONCLUDE FOR ALPINE CANADA WITH TEAM EVENT ON FEB 20
Yanqing Alpine Venue, China (February 20, 2022) – As most Olympic athletes prepared to attend closing ceremonies or were already packed and gone, alpine skiers extended their journey in Beijing after yesterday’s highly windy Team Parallel event was bumped to the final day of these Games due to the high gusting winds.
Team Canada entered the race represented by skiers Erin Mielzynski (Collingwood, ON), Cassidy Gray (Invermere, BC), Trevor Philp (Calgary, AB), and Erik Read (Canmore, AB).
In their first heat, the four athletes battled head-to-head against Slovenia’s Andreja Slokar, Tina Robnik, Miha Hrobat, and Zan Kranjec.
While Mielzynski and Philp won their respective runs against Team Slovenia, Gray and Read came short, meaning the nation moving on was to be determined based on the two fastest combined times. After review, Slovenia came out with the fastest time, putting an end to Team Canada’s day with a 9th place finish.
“Today, I think I pushed too much,” admits 30-year-old Read whose best result at these Games was 13th in giant slalom. “The snow conditions were unique here and tactically it was tough to find the right pace at the different events. We knew it was going to be a tough match up against Slovenia and it just didn’t pan out for us,” adds the skier who was part of Team Canada’s silver medal performance at the 2015 FIS World Championships along with Mielzynski and Philp.
Competing in her maiden Olympics, the 21-year-old Gray, was eager to ski in the team event after having missed completing her giant slalom race earlier in the week.
“It was a great experience and I’m so glad I got to be here with this team,” says Gray. “I learned most of all that I need to come into every race with a competitive attitude because even though it’s the Olympics, it’s still another race that I have the potential to do well in. No doubt I will bring this experience into the rest of my season. I just feel so lucky to be getting a taste of everything this year,” concludes the skier who is headed right back home to Panorama, BC B.C. to compete in her second FIS World Junior Championships.
The exciting Team event was won by Austria. Germany took silver and Norway bronze.
TEAM CANADA REFLECTS ON 16 DAYS OF OLYMPIC GRIT, SUCCESS AND FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
Over the last 16 days, 21 Canadian alpine and ski cross athletes set out to inspire a nation through the unifying power of sport. The team headed to Beijing with high aspirations and is coming back home spirited by many performances including:
- Jack Crawford earning Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in the men’s alpine combined, coming home with the bronze hardware, after missing the podium by 0.07 seconds in the men’s downhill event.Crawford also finished 6th in the super G along with teammate Trevor Philp finishing a career-best 10th;
- Marielle Thompson earning silver in the women’s ski cross race, leading a dominant Canadian team that put had all our female athletes in the top seven and all men in the top 12; and
- Marie-Michèle Gagnon achieving a career-best 8th place in the downhill event, setting a new performance standard having competed in all five alpine disciplines over the course of three Olympic Games.
- Eight athletes competing in their maiden first Olympics, acquiring valuable experience for the future.
“Our Team Canada had breakthrough performances and historical firsts which we should be proud of,” says Therese Brisson, Alpine Canada President and CEO. “Some results have also left us hungry for more. There is no doubt our team is leaving these Games with key learnings and a relentless determination to aim for more as we work towards making Canada a leading ski racing nation.”
“We also have to thank the coaches, technicians, support staff and all members of Alpine Canada for their tireless efforts to support our athletes under extremely challenging circumstances,” Brisson continues. “Race results belong to athletes, but there is a huge team effort behind each and every finish.”
With the 2022 Olympics now in the books, Team Canada is now turning its focus on the Paralympic Winter Games, the end of the World Cup season for our Alpine and Ski Cross teams, and the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Panorama, B.C.
“Our relentless pursuit for podium performances and our desire to proudly represent Canada on the world stage continues,” concludes Brisson.
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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.