Calgary, Alta. (October 26, 2017) – The FIS Alpine World Cup season kicks off in Sölden, AUT with a ladies’ giant slalom race on Saturday, followed by a men’s giant slalom on Sunday. The athletes will take to the famed Rettenbach Glacier, which is notoriously one of the most challenging and difficult giant slalom slopes on the circuit.
Alpine Canada athletes had a chance to train on the glacier this past week, getting familiar with the aggressive pitch. After a few training runs, Veteran Marie-Michèle Gagnon said “well that was rock and roll, as in just roll with it, cuz that hill is just wild! Glad to get a few runs down before the race next weekend.” Gagnon finished 17th last season in the opener and will be looking to edge past that this weekend. National giant slalom champion, Valérie Grenier (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), has two top-30 World Cup finishes to her name and will look to add to that this season.
Overall Nor-Am Cup winner, Ali Nullmeyer (Toronto, Ont.), earned her spot in every World Cup race this season and will kick it off at Sölden. Mikaela Tommy (Wakefield, Que.) secured her first giant slalom World Cup result at the end of last season and will be carrying that momentum into this race.
This traditional season-opener will be a bit of a game-changer for the men as they reintroduce the 30-metre skis back into World Cup races. The Canadians have been training on them all summer and are excited to reintroduce the skis back into competition. Calgary’s Erik Read has already had some early success on them winning back-to-back giant slalom races at the ANZ Cup this summer. Phil Brown (Toronto, Ont.) will be hungry for success after being crowned both the overall and giant slalom winner of the Nor-Am Cup last season. Trevor Philp (Calgary, Alta.) will be hunting for two consecutive runs to start the season off with a top-30 finish.
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Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.