Canada Captures 10th Ski Cross Nations Cup
Calgary, Alta. (March 18, 2023) – Brady Leman (Calgary, AB) capped his career with a win at today’s 2022_23 FIS Ski Cross World Cup Finals at the Craigleith Ski Club in Collingwood, Ontario. Today’s win puts an exclamation mark on an illustrious 15-year career that included Olympic gold and highlighted a day that saw Canada take home a world-leading 10th ski cross Nations Cup. This is Canada's second Nations Cup win in a row and its sixth in eight seasons.
Leman consistently came out of the gates fast today and then used his experience to make braves passes on the tight track. This is Leman’s 32nd podium and his sixth career first place, with four of his wins coming on Canadian snow.
“I’m so pumped! This is the best way to go out,” said an ecstatic Leman. “I just wanted to leave it all out there today. It was a fight every round and I battled hard the whole day. Got a little lucky in the finals but I got to put an exclamation on an amazing career. I love racing, I’ve always loved racing!”
“Today was crazy emotional,” added Leman. “There were some tears this morning and lots of emotion but I tried to keep my focus. I’m just so happy to have my family and friends here, and to be with my teammates.”
“Today so captures what Brady is about” said Stanley Hayer, Alpine Canada, Head Coach, Ski Cross. “He’s always found a way to deliver in big races. I think that’s what he’ll leave with this program. That it doesn’t come easy, but if you keep battling and keep pushing that good things will happen.”
In the women’s race, Marielle Thompson (Whistler BC) finished second to go along with a third place yesterday and Brittany Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, QC), in her first race in a year, raced to third.
“I wanted to top what I did yesterday, and I did that so I’m pretty happy,” said Thompson. “I think that I could’ve done a little more today but I’m happy to share the podium with Britt. She’s had such a long comeback from injury, I’m super proud of her.”
“I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out,” said Phelan. “It’s been a tough couple of days getting used to the bigger faster track so today I just wanted to ski the way I normally do. I tried to make good turns and to be patient, it and worked out pretty well.”
Three other Canadian women finished in the top 10 today, with Tiana Gairns (Prince George, BC) finishing sixth, Courtney Hoffos (Windermere, BC), following up yesterday’s podium, in 7th and Abby McEwen (Edmonton, AB) in 9th. Hannah Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) placed 13th.
Antoinette Tansley (Calgary, AB), India Sherret (Cranbrook, BC) and Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, BC) also raced today but missed advancing from qualifying.
While all eyes were on Leman today, two Canadian men finished in the top 10 with Kris Mahler (Canmore, AB) in 7th, while yesterday’s winner and Crystal Globe holder, Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) came in 9th.
Other Canadian men competing today were Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) 13th, while Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON), Carson Cook (Edmonton, AB) and Gavin Rowell (Prince George, BC) all tied for 17th, with Zach Belczyk (Banff, AB) coming in 25th.
Andrew Wilson, Zachary Reynolds and Callum McEwen did not advance from qualifying earlier today.
Canada led the ski cross World Cup standings for most of this season and extended their lead this weekend thanks to great results from the team. The Nation Cup was first presented for ski cross in 2008 with Canada winning in 10 of the 16 years that the Nations Cup has been presented.
“This is a very special group,” said Stanley Hayer, Alpine Canada, Head Coach, Ski Cross. “Reece and Marielle have obviously been outstanding, but this has really been a team effort with everyone contributing this season. And it’s really great for us to send Brady out with a team win is a great representation of what he’s given to our sport and our country.”
At the 2022_23 FIS Alpine World Cup Finals in Soldeau, Andorra, Amelia Smart (Invermere, BC) was the top Canadian women in today’s slalom finishing 11th, her eight top 30 in 11 World Cup starts this season. Ali Nullmeyer (Toronto, ON) raced to 12th and world championships gold medalist Laurence St-Germain (St. Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC) didn’t finish her second run.
In today’s men’s World Cup Finals giant slalom, Erik Read (Canmore, AB) was the only Canadian to qualify but he didn’t finish his second run today.
Alpine World Cup Finals wrap-up in Soldeau, Andorra, tomorrow, Sunday, March 19.
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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.