Calgary, Alta. (December 21, 2022) – Canada took three of the six podium spots at today’s FIS Ski Cross World Cup in Innichen, Italy. On an overcast day with tricky visibility, Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) took second and Brady Leman (Calgary, AB) grabbed third. Along with Howden and Leman, the men’s big final featured three Canadians and saw Kris Mahler (Canmore, AB) finish fourth. Marielle Thompson (Whistler BC) repeated last season’s result in Innichen, with a third-place finish in today’s women’s race.
Coming off a second-place finish last week in Arosa, this is Howden’s best finish in Innichen and his 11th podium in 34 World Cup starts. “I’ve never raced with three Canadians in the big final before. It’s pretty unique and special for the team to pull that off,” said a smiling Howden. “I’ve got some things to work on but we have a good foundation and I’m ready to go for it tomorrow.”
For Leman, this is his first World Cup podium this season and his fifth career World Cup podium in Innichen. “I’m stoked to be back on the podium,” said a pleased Leman. “It fired me up to race the final with Reece and Kris. It’s too bad that we didn’t get the sweep, but we’ve got another chance at it tomorrow.”
This is Thompson’s third podium in four races this World Cup season, her seventh podium in Innichen, and her 55th career World Cup podium.“I’m very happy to be on the podium again,” said Thompson. “All the heats were super tight with some great racing. I had a bit of a battle out there today and made lots of passes so that’s a positive. I think it’ll be even more exciting tomorrow with all the things people learned today”
Courtney Hoffos (Windermere, BC) made it to the semi-finals on the women’s side, settling for seventh place. Hannah Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) was ninth, India Sherret (Cranbrook, BC) 11th and Tiana Gairns (Prince George, BC) rounded out today’s racers in 16th.
On the men’s side, Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON) finished 12th while Carson Cook (Edmonton, AB) and Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) missed out on advancing to the quarterfinals.
Ski cross is back racing in Innichen, Italy tomorrow, Thursday December 22
Men tech have a slalom night race at Madonna di Campiglio (ITA) also tomorrow, Thursday Dec 22
Women tech skiers are back in action in Semmering, Austria December 27-29.
Men speed racers are Bormio, Italy December 28 and 29.
Para-alpine racers have a holiday break from competition until January 10th when they return to competition in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, with eight races, two slaloms and six giant slaloms, four races each for the men and the women.
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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.