MARIELLE THOMPSON, BRADY LEMAN ADD TO SEASON MEDAL-HAUL WITH PODIUM FINISHES AT SKI CROSS WORLD CUP
Golden Thompson closes season ranked third in overall standings; Leman races to silver for fourth World Cup podium of the year
Veysonnaz, SUI (March 17, 2019) – No shamrocks were required by Canada’s top ski cross racers, who logged consistent medal performances throughout the year and closed the 2018-19 FIS Freestyle World Cup season with two podium performances and six racers in the top-10 at World Cup Finals in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, Sunday.
Racing in her first full season since coming back from injury just before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, 2019 World Champion Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club) raced to gold on Sunday for her fifth World Cup medal in 11 races.
“I’m really happy with how today went. I feel like I skied really well – I was behind in the final, and I knew I had lots of speed in the bottom of the course, so I tried to pump the rollers as best I could and managed to make a pass and come away with the win. I’m really happy to cap off the season that way,” said Thompson, who finishes ranked third overall in the ladies’ 2018-19 season standings. In 11 starts this year, she raced in nine big finals and one small final. “Third place in ski cross is really awesome for me. I wanted more, but I feel like I had some really solid results. Coming back from injury, I didn’t really know what to expect, so to be third in the world is pretty amazing.”
Capturing his fourth World Cup medal of the year was Calgary’s Brady Leman (Calgary/Calgary Alpine Racing Club), who raced to silver in men’s ski cross action. A silver-medallist at the 2019 FIS Freestyle World Championships as well, Leman closes the season with one World Cup gold, won on home snow at Blue Mountain Resort in January, one silver, and two bronze medals – good for fourth overall in the men’s ski cross standings.
“It was an awesome day out there. Big battle with the wind today – you never really knew what was going to happen, where the gusts were going to get you, so you had to fight all the way to the finish,” said Leman who joined France’s Jean-Frederic Chapuis (first) and Bastien Midol (third) on the podium on Sunday. The 2018 Olympic gold-medallist enjoyed the Veysonnaz course, which more closely matches traditional ski cross courses in terms of jumps and space to make passes. “I had awesome starts all day, which was great. I really felt strong (and) had a lot of fun racing today. I was skiing for the win – I would have loved to have won, but it was a tough race so I’m really proud to finish the year strong (with a) second (place finish).”
The ladies’ big and small finals had their share of Canada’s trademark plaid; Brittany Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que./Mont-Tremblant Ski Club) joined Thompson in the big final, but was unable to join her on the podium finishing fourth behind Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund, the day’s silver-medallist, and France’s Alizee Baron, who raced to bronze. With two trips to the World Cup podium this season, Phelan closes the year ranked fifth overall.
Coming off a season-best fourth-place finish in Russia, India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C./Kimberley Alpine Ski Team) bested team veteran Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C./Big White Ski Club) to win the small final. The duo finished fifth and sixth respectively. Abby McEwen (Edmonton/Sunridge Ski Club) was 12th.
“I’m super happy with fifth today – had a little bit of a tangle in the semis that cause me to lose touch with the two in front so I didn’t really get a chance to make it to the (big) finals, but I’m really happy with my skiing,” said Sherret who ends the season ranked 14th overall. “It feels like a great way to end the World Cup season; I’m really quite pleased with how the last three races have gone.”
Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, Que. and Vail, Col./Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) rounded out Canada’s presence in the top-10, finishing ninth, while Toronto’s Kevin Drury finished 18th.
The 2019 Canadian Ski Cross Championships will be hosted at Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta, April 14th.
Audi 2019 Canadian Ski Racing Awards presented by Helly Hansen
From now until April 15, Alpine Canada and partners Audi Canada and Helly Hansen are accepting nominations and votes to determine the winners of the Audi 2019 Canadian Ski Racing Awards presented by Helly Hansen. Media, fans, and members of the Canadian ski community are invited to help celebrate the nation’s vibrant ski racing community by recognizing the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and ski resorts that have made a positive mark this season. Visit AlpineCanada.org/Awards for more details.
Celebrate today’s podium results by joining the Medallists’ Circle
For the 2018-19 ski racing season, Alpine Canada is inviting ski fans to join the Medallists’ Circle. Donors are invited to commit a pledge for each podium performance by an Alpine Canada athlete this season at World Cup and World Championship events. All funds raised through the Medallists’ Circle will provide Canada’s alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross athletes with the resources needed to reach for the podium. For further information, please visit AlpineCanada.org.