Val Thorens, FRA (December 12, 2021) — Months away from the slopes following season-ending injuries didn’t prevent Canadian Ski Cross racers Marielle Thompson (Whistler, BC) and Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, QC) from reaching the podium as part of their World Cup comebacks, each earning podium results this weekend.
Today, racing head-to-head on the fast, rolly, and challenging Val Thorens course, Thompson, 29, won her first two heats and skied into third in the big final, good for her 47th World Cup career podium.
“To comeback from injuries with a podium means that all the hard work was worth it,” tells Thompson who was competing in her 101st World Cup race. “I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season,” adds the team veteran who will be chasing a second Olympic medal this winter following her victory at the 2014 Games.
Phelan, 30, who captured silver in Saturday’s race, narrowly missed the podium on Sunday, coming in fourth spot.
“I’m super happy about the start of my season with three solid top five results – especially after a two-year injury,” explains Phelan whose career highlights include nine World Cup career podium results and a silver medal at the 2018 Olympics. “I’m feeling confident going into the next races and I just want to keep that consistency and try to focus on my skiing and myself. We have a lot of races coming up and I’m especially looking forward to the Arosa, SUI and Innichen, ITA events.”
Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.), 23, finished sixth for a second day in a row, capturing more valuable World Cup points.
“I’m very proud of the skiing I’ve had in the last days,” tells Gairns who is chasing her first ever podium result, after skiing into the small final in each of this seasons World Cup races. “Today, I just focused on skiing aggressive and calm on the course, and I managed to execute that. I’m eager to keep on doing the same thing in the next events,” she added.
Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C.) achieved Team Canada’s best result in the men’s race, coming in seventh place.
“It’s been a bit of a slow start to the season for me,” explains Howden who captured the Ski Cross crystal globe last season for earning the most points on the circuit. “It was nice to get into the heats today and even though I was obviously looking for a better result, today is a start. We have lots more races coming up in the next few days and I’m looking forward to results on the box in these upcoming events!”
Canada’s Ski Cross athletes will be competing in two back-to-back World Cups this week in Arosa, SUI (December 13-15) and Innichen, ITA (December 18-20) for the final events before the holidays. Competitions will resume in the New Year at Nakiska (Alta.) for the only Ski Cross World Cup events held on North American snow January 13 and 14th.
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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.