Calgary, Alta. (December 5, 2017) – We’re just days away from the kickoff of the highly anticipated 2017-18 World Cup ski cross season. Filled with big air, head-to-head competition and fast speeds, it’s one of the most exciting and action packed winter sports to watch.
Canada Ski Cross has demonstrated its unquestionable dominance on the circuit for years. Last year the team claimed the Nations Cup, awarded to the country with the highest World Cup points over the entirety of the season, for the second year in a row. Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) won the overall Crystal Globe and Brady Leman (Calgary, Alta.) closed out the season ranked second on the men’s circuit.
After months in the gym and pre-season training on snow, Canada Ski Cross is looking stronger than ever. The veterans are ready to defend titles and the rookies coming up are ready to make a name for themselves. With the Olympics less than two months away, every result this season will count towards meeting team criteria to attend the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Leading the Canada Ski Cross Team, Stanley Hayer holds the position of Head Coach for a second consecutive season for the national team. New this year, Victor Dockal will lead the Next Gen team, full of budding talent and Willy Raine continues his leadership as the Ski Cross Athletic Director.
The season starts this weekend with back-to-back races in Val Thorens, FRA, which also marks the start of the second annual Cross Alps Tour. The Cross Alps Tour features six races at four resorts packed in just over two weeks. This year, there is a cash prize of €5000 up for grabs for the top male and top female athlete. Thompson, one of Canada’s most prolific ski cross athletes, handily took the Cross Alp Tour title last season. Now, out with a knee injury, the door is open for a new female winner. We’re laying bets it will be Canada that defends the title this season!
Veterans, Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.) and Georgia Simmerling (Vancouver, B.C.), are starting the season healthy and ready to stand back on the podium this season. 2017 FIS Freestyle Rookie of the Year, Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), achieved a fourth-place personal-best result last year and will be looking to up her game to stand on the podium this season. Although Thompson has been temporarily sidelined from the ski cross tour, she’s already back in the gym looking to get her knee in top form for the back half of the season, including the Olympics.
India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C.), took the ladies’ overall Nor-Am Cup title on the ski cross circuit earning herself a spot on the World Cup circuit this year. The 21-year-old made her World Cup debut last season with a 11th-place personal-best result at the 2017 World Championships. This promising young athlete will be one-to-watch this season.
On the men’s side, Brady Leman (Calgary, Alta.) and Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, Que.) lead the team into the season. With 47 World Cup podiums between them, Leman and Del Bosco are two of the most dominant and successful male athletes on the circuit. Dave Duncan (Whistler, B.C.) has stood on the podium seven times and will be a contender again this season. Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.) had his first World Cup start in 2015 and has a personal-best result of fourth-place. This guy will be hungry to land his career-first podium result this season.
Kevin MacDonald (Calgary, Alta.), has one World Cup start to his name, but after securing the Nor-Am Cup overall title last year, he’ll be on the start list more than once this season and gunning for his first result.
The final World Cup race before the Olympics will be held on home snow at Nakiska Ski Area near Calgary, Alta. It will be the last qualifying opportunity for Canada Ski Cross athletes to be named to the Canadian Olympic Team. Visit http://alpinecanada.org/events/fis-alpine-world-cup-nakiska-can regularly for event updates, tickets, schedules and more.
The Canada Ski Cross team is stacked with seasoned and new talent. For a full roster of the A and B team, click here.
To see the next generation of Canada Ski Cross talent, click here.
Catch the action on CBC this season! For their broadcast schedule, click here.
This season promises to be another exciting one. Here’s how you can follow along and cheer on the #CANSkiTeam:
Full athlete bios here.
World Cup schedule here.
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ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
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.