Nakiska, AB (April 9, 2022) -- In the last race weekend of the season, the Canadian national ski cross champions were crowned on home soil today at Nakiska, AB. Olympic silver medalist Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) took home the top honour for the women, while back-to-back Red Bull SuperSkiCross champion Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C.) captured the title for the men.
Thompson says that “it feels great” to be back on top of the podium at nationals. “It was a beautiful day to be racing in Nakiska, and the great volunteers worked so hard to make things happen today. To stand on top of the national podium is always great.”
“We have an amazing volunteer crew from all over Canada and they’re super stoked on it and having a lot of fun,” adds Howden. “I’m happy that they come out because it wouldn’t work without them.”
After travelling on the World Cup circuit throughout Europe and to China for the Olympic Winter Games, coming back to finish the season at home is especially sweet for the group of tenacious athletes.
“It’s a fun race and it was great to get back home, race with the team and in front of the local crowd,” says Howden.
In addition to the local crowd cheering them on, there’s a special feeling to race amongst the next generation of ski cross racers as well.
“For us national and World Cup team athletes, I think it’s a great way to give back to the younger athletes,” adds Thompson. “When I was their age, I thought it was so cool I got to race against Ashley [McIvor], Kelsey [Serwa], and Julia [Murray], and I hope I can give something like that back to them.”
The podiums were rounded out by teammates Courtey Hoffos (Windermere, B.C.) and Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) for the women, and Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) and Gavin Rowell (Prince George, B.C.) for the men.
Young Canadian talent was also showcased on the U19 Canadian national podium, also a part of today’s awards. Emeline Bennett (Whistler, B.C.) was this year's winner on the women’s side, with Maren Vincett and Hailey McClurg joining her on the steps. Nicholas Katrusiak (Whistler, B.C.) took the victory on the men’s side, with Konnor Kimball and Rhys Mullins 2nd and 3rd respectively.
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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. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrated 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.