Cassie Sharpe (Comox, BC) won the first X Games gold medal of her career today in Oslo, Norway, after skiing to victory in the women’s superpipe.
Sharpe’s high score of 88.33 held off Olympic champion and four-time X Games gold medallist, Maddie Bowman (USA) for the victory. Bowman scored 85.33 for silver and Japan’s Ayana Onozuka grabbed bronze with 83.66.
It is the first X Games held in Oslo and the first time that the event has been held in Europe since 2013.
“I’m on cloud nine right now. I came here knowing that I had a chance to medal, but I never thought I could end up on top with the likes of Maddie Bowman,” said Sharpe. “I’m so overjoyed and happy. It’s a really crazy moment. When I was growing up, the X Games was the dream and the biggest event you could go to before the Olympic Games added our sport. I’m just so happy to be here and to be able to perform in front of such a huge crowd.”
Sharpe completely dominated the field with three clean runs that impressed the judges and earned her the highest scores of the competition. Her lowest score of 86.00, achieved on her first run, would have been enough to give her the title.
Her head coach, Trennon Paynter, had worked on a game plan with Sharpe so that she could perform her biggest runs each time. At the X Games in Aspen earlier this year, Sharpe didn’t go as big on her first run and it ended up costing her with a fourth place finish.
“I took Trennon’s advice to go for it on all three runs and it really paid off,” said Sharpe. “He told me I could have made the podium in Aspen if I had done that, so I listened to my coach. My first run went so well and was really clean. It took some pressure off. After that I was revved up and ready for more. For my second run I just went even bigger and even cleaner. I went too big in my last run and ran out of pipe, which is why my score was a little lower. I’m just over the moon with how it all went.”
Sharpe is the first Canadian woman to win X Games superpipe gold since Roz Groenewoud won double gold in 2012 by winning the titles in Aspen and Tignes. She joins a short, but impressive list of Canadian women who have won superpipe gold at the X Games, including Sarah Burke who won four titles in Aspen and one in Tignes.
“I grew up watching the X Games as a kid and seeing Sarah (Burke) dominate the pipe. To come here and do the same thing is surreal,” said Sharpe. “Those girls are definitely pioneers for my sport and what I do. I couldn’t be happier to represent Canada the way that they did. This is definitely a nice confidence booster. I couldn’t be happier to follow in their footsteps.”
Sharpe and the rest of the halfpipe team will look to prepare for their next event of the season, a FIS World Cup in Tignes, France, scheduled for March 9-10.
KINGSBURY WINS THE 32ND FIS WORLD CUP OF HIS CAREER
Audrey Robichaud grabs second and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe finishes third
Tazawako, Japan – Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) won the 32nd FIS World Cup of his career today in Tazawako, Japan, during a dual moguls event. Kingsbury defeated American Thomas Rowley by a score of 20-15 to capture the title. Frenchman Benjamin Caven finished third after defeating Dmitriy Reiherd of Kazakhstan 22-13.
It has been an impressive weekend for the 23-year-old Kingsbury who also finished second yesterday in the single moguls event. The victory is Kingsbury’s fourth of the season in eight attempts and his seventh time on the podium overall this season. Dating back to last season, Kingsbury has won 11 of his last 15 World Cups.
Kingsbury was one of three Canadian men to finish in the top-10 today. Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) finished seventh and Laurent Dumais (Quebec City, QC) in ninth.
“I’m thrilled to be back on top of a World Cup. It wasn’t an easy day for me with the draw I had,” said Kingsbury. “There were a few challenges with the course and I had to beat some really good competitors along the way. I really wanted to win yesterday and I didn’t, so I was extra motivated. My confidence kept going up after each dual. I’m happy with the way I dealt with things and that I’ve basically locked up the Crytal Globe.”
Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) and Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) were back on the podium today after finishing second and third, respectively, in the single moguls event yesterday.
This time it was Robichaud grabbing second place after losing a close dual in the finals to Switzerland’s Deborah Scanzio by a score of 19-16. Dufour-Lapointe edged out Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva 20-15 for the final spot on the podium.
“I had a really great day to day to make it to the podium. My training went really well entering the competition and I was consistent all day,” said Robichaud. “I was skiing really well in all my dual matches. The final was a real battle, but I’m happy for Deborah. Making it to the podium twice this weekend is special. I couldn’t be happier and I’m really looking forward to competing in Moscow next week.”
Canadian teammates Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC) finished sixth, Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) came in ninth and Penticton, BC’s Andi Naude came in 12th
“I really pushed myself today and am proud of my performance. It was a really nice day out there with great snow conditions. I think that helped us out a lot,” said Chloé Dufour-Lapointe. “I also gained the yellow bib jersey as the overall leader of the World Cup. That’s a huge accomplishment since I have been fighting a cold all weekend. I had to push through it. I’m proud of myself.”
The team now prepares for the last FIS World Cup of the season taking place in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, March 5th
THREE CANADIANS MAKE TAZAWAKO WORLD CUP PODIUM
Tazawako, Japan – Canada grabbed fifty percent of the positions on the FIS World Cup mogul’s podium today in Tazawako, Japan. Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) was narrowly beaten out for first by American Bradley Wilson by of score of 86.14 to 86.09.
Kingsbury entered the weekend as the defending champion and led the field after qualification. It is the 23-year-old’s fourth time on the podium out of five World Cup events this season.
“I’m pretty pleased with how all my runs went and with the fact that I was first coming out of qualifications,” said Kingsbury. “I think I could have done a little more in the finals to win the competition. Overall the day was really good and I look forward to another chance at winning a World Cup tomorrow when I can come back and defend my dual moguls title from last year.”
Australian Matt Graham came in third with a score of 83.05. Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) was the only other male Canadian in the final and finished fifth with a score of 82.18.
France’s Perrine Laffont won her first career World Cup and was joined on the podium by two Canadians, Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) in second and Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) in third.
Laffont ended the day with a score of 78.91. Dufour-Lapointe wasn’t far behind with 78.06 and Robichaud had 77.83 to duplicate her final ranking from the Tazawako World Cup in 2015.
“Today the race went really well and I skied really well. I’m happy with my jumping and how I picked up speed in the bumps,” said Robichaud. “My training was consistent all week and that helped. The course wasn’t easy, but we had a lot of fun skiing today. I’m really happy making it to the podium once again in Japan and I hope I can do it again tomorrow.”
Andi Naude (Penticton, BC) finished fifth, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) in seventh and Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) 15th for a total of five Canadians getting through past qualifications.
Kingsbury continues to widen his gap in the World Cup standings with 505 points. Justine is holding a slim lead over Chloé by a score of 420 to 398 for the overall women’s title.
LEWIS IRVING WINS FIS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Irving is the first Canadian male aerialist to win the award since 2011
Vancouver – Lewis Irving (Quebec City, QC) has won the prestigious FIS Rookie of the Year Award for male aerialists for the 2015-2016 season. It was a banner year for the 20-year-old Irving who competed in four FIS World Cups and made the finals each time.
Irving opened the season by finishing in seventh and 11th at two World Cups in Beijing and followed that performance by finishing fourth and eighth, respectively, in two consecutive World Cups in Deer Valley.
The last Canadian male aerialist to win the award was Travis Gerrits (Milton, ON) back in 2011.
“I’m thrilled with how my season went and how consistent my jumping was all year,” said Irving. “That’s what we really tried to focus on this year. I wanted to be on top of my game at each World Cup knowing that I would only do four and it worked out really well for me. It was the perfect type of season to lead into Olympic qualifying next year. It’s a great stepping-stone for me.”
Irving’s coaches and the Canadian high performance program planned to slowly introduce the young aerialist to a full time World Cup schedule. The goal was for Irving to get the necessary experience of international competitions and then compete at NorAm events to work on his degree of difficulty.
Finishing high in the World Cup rankings was never a priority for Irving, even though he was in sixth place before being pulled from the World Cup tour and ultimately finishing 12th overall. Irving admits that his season has motivated him further and that his confidence has been at an all-time high thanks to the work he has put in with first-year coaches Dennis Capicik and Liz Gardner, and due to all of the team veterans helping him out.
“It’s not even comparable where I was last year to now. I’m at a completely different level and performing at a higher intensity,” added Irving. “My connection with my coaches has helped me out. Being around guys like Travis (Gerrits) and Olivier (Rochon) pushes me to go harder. Those guys are two of the best jumpers on the planet. They’re great and help me out with my training. Having them to look up to makes a huge difference.”
Irving incorporated triples into his arsenal just last summer for the first time on water and attempted them on snow for the first time during a training camp in Ruka, Finland, in November.
“It’s one thing to do triples in a training environment and another to do them in competition. He’s definitely moving forward quicker than anticipated and that’s a good thing,” said Capicik, Head Coach of the National Team. “It’s an honour and a great motivating tool for him to win this award. Many of the past greats have won it and he is in the same group as those guys now.”
Capicik credits Irving’s all around athleticism for his ability to learn things so quickly and pointed out the great technical base taught to him over the years by former coaches like Caroline Franc.
“This award is a testament to what he learned over the years working with people like Caroline and to all the work Lewis has put in over the years,” said Marc-André Moreau, High Performance Director. “Lewis has the potential to reach the top of the sport. Our program has been putting the right tools to produce quality athletes. The future looks great for him and I think he surpassed what most expected he would achieve for this season.”
ALEX BELLEMARE WINS PYEONGCHANG OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
The victory is Bellemare’s first career FIS World Cup win
PyeongChang, Korea – Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface) came out victorious today in PyeongChang, Korea, after he topped all other slopestyle skiers with a score of 93.60 to capture the FIS World Cup also being held as an Olympic Test Event in Bokwang Phoenix Park.
Bellemare’s score edged out Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut who finished with 93.00. American Josiah Wells rounded out the top-three with a score of 92.80. A total of 10 skiers made it to the finals after the top-five from each qualifications heat won a spot. Canadian Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON) finished with 76.80 in the finals, good enough for ninth.
“All the pressure was off from me as soon as I made the finals,” said Bellemare.
“I was skiing to have fun out there and it worked well. The course was just so awesome and it’s way different from anything else we’ve ever seen. The jumps are really cool. I was super clean throughout the whole run and it made a difference. This definitely helps my confidence and I can only hope I can ski as well as I did today.”
The victory comes just under two years before the next Winter Olympic Games and is the first FIS World Cup win for the 22-year-old Bellemare in only his eighth attempt in slopestyle.
“It’s a great sign for the future to do so well at an Olympic test event, but I am trying to not let it go to my head because so much can happen in two year until the Olympic Games,” added Bellemare, who had previously never visited Korea. “It’s good to know what the course will look like though and that it’s designed so well. I’m happy with my performance today because I fought back from my early mistakes. I fell on some easy tricks during my first two runs. I knew I could do them and score a lot higher. I stayed calm and did what I wanted to do on my third and final run when it counted most.”
The course layout and the hospitality provided to the athletes have received rave reviews from both skiers and coaches alike.
“It’s my first time in Korea and it’s amazing here,” said defending Olympic champion, Dara Howel (Huntsville, ON). “They built such a crazy course and it’s really cool to be here. The event was really unique and we’ve never seen anything like it. The course is really playful and there’s some side jumps on the last feature, which is different. So many aspects of the course have never been done before and I think it got many people excited to compete here again.”
Only six women qualified for the final and Howell’s score of 77.60 left her in fourth right behind Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom (81.00). Norway’s Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen grabbed first with a score of 91.60 and American Maggie Voisin came second with 84.60.
Canadian Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, BC) finished fifth with a score of 75.40 and was happy to be ok after a scary fall.
“I was happy with my last run, but I wish I did it the first time to put less pressure on myself,” said Tsubota. “I took a bad fall during my first run and I think it scared me. It was a smaller fall to what I had in Sochi and it kind of spooked me out. I had a great week of training and trained really well this morning too. I still loved the course though. I hope all courses become like this in the future.”
SLOPESTYLE TEAM SET FOR OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
Canadian slopestyle skiers get first look at Pyeongchang ahead of 2018
Pyeongchang, South Korea – Canadian slopestyle skiers are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for a FIS World Cup that will be held as an Olympic test event at Bokwang Phoenix Park. The competition is scheduled to include qualifiers on Thursday, February 18. The top 10 men and six women will then advance to the finals on Saturday.
Defending Olympic champion Dara Howell (Huntsville, ON) and 2014 bronze medallist Kim Lamarre (Lac-Beauport, QC) are joined on the trip by Olympians Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Quebec City, QC), Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, BC) and Kaya Turski (Montreal, QC), as well as Nikki Blackall (Barrie, ON), Anouk Purnelle-Faniel (Quebec City, QC), Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC), Teal Harle (Campbell River, BC), and Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON).
Beaulieu-Marchand and Lamarre are not expected to compete due to injury.
“This is really a great opportunity for myself and the rest of the team to get acclimated with all that Korea has to offer. The purpose of this trip is to simulate what the Olympic Games will be like,” said Howell. “It’s great that we get to come out here two years before for an Olympic test event to try out the course. I’m looking forward to also learning more about Korean culture and familiarizing myself with the venue. This trip definitely gives us an advantage in comparison to potentially coming here for the first time in 2018.”
Bokwang Phoenix Park is located in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. The park was built in 1995, but additional construction started in March 2015 for the test events and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Bokwang Phoenix Park is about 211 km away from Incheon International Airport (ICN) and it takes around three hours by car.
The trip to Korea serves a dual purpose for the team as the goal is to also get acclimated with a new competition environment and a country where several of the athletes have never visited.
“I saw a couple of pictures of the course before leaving and it looks really nice. We will need to work on our tricks leading up to 2018 because I believe that they will be building big jumps with diversified rails,” said Bellemare. “It will be a refreshing to change the rails because the past events have been somewhat repetitive. I’ve never been to Korea before so this will be a brand new experience for me.”
The trip comes approximately a year after Canadian mogul skiers had their own familiarization trip to South Korea.
“After a great trip last year to familiarize ourselves with the travel, landscape and culture, this year we get to focus on learning about the slopestyle venue and get a good feel for the flow of the course,” said David Mirota, High Performance Director. “For our team, this event marks the mid-quadrennial point leading into 2018. We can start looking at the technical and tactical aspects of our preparation.”
JUSTINE DUFOUR-LAPOINTE WINS DEER VALLEY DUAL MOGULS WORLD CUP
Deer Valley, Utah – Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) has thrived this week skiing at the Deer Valley Resort in Utah. Just 48 hours after winning a FIS World Cup event on Thursday, Dufour-Lapointe returned and captured the dual moguls title by defeating Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva 22-13 in the final.
The 21-year-old entered the event as the defending champion and did not disappoint. She now has a total of 12 FIS World Cup victories and 32 podium-finishes in her career.
“I felt good when I woke up this morning and I knew what I had to do to perform well out there. I concentrated on my skiing without looking at my rivals to not get distracted,” said Justine Dufour-Lapointe. “I skied for myself and I really had the feeling that I dominated the course. I adapted my skiing to be consistent and opted for fast but clean runs. I am really proud of the way I skied today.”
Three other Canadian women made it into the top-eight, including Audrey Robichaud who lost to Dufour-Lapointe 34-1 and Alex-Anne Gagnon who was defeated by American Mikayla Matthews after she was unable to finish the race. Robichaud finished sixth and Gagnon in eighth place. Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (ninth) and Penticton’s Andi Naude (10th) rounded out the top-10.
Two Americans squared off for third place in a showdown that saw Jaelin Kauf defeat Matthews 26-9.
On the men’s side, Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) was upset 16-19 in the quarter-finals by Finland’s Jimi Salonen to finish fifth overall. Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) lost in the round of 16 to Dmitriy Reiherd of Kazakhstan by a score of 25-10. Marquis finished 13th overall.
“It was a close dual. The new race format in dual moguls forces the higher ranked skier to change courses. The red course was more difficult today and slower. That’s the one I was in when I lost,” said Kingsbury. “I skied well on the blue course and I also had a good run on the red during another round. Jimi was the fastest out of the first jump, so I had to catch up to him. I was the first to arrive at the finish line but the judges saw things differently. I am happy with the way I skied, but Jimi deserved to be on the podium.”
Salonen ended up finishing second to France’s Anthony Benna who defeated him by a score of 21-14. Reiherd defeated countryman Pavel Kolmakov 25-10 for third.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe now extends her World Cup standings lead over her sister Chloé by a score of 404 to 318. Kingsbury remains in the men’s lead with 425. Australia’s Matt Graham is the next closest competitor with 286 points.
JUSTINE DUFOUR-LAPOINTE WINS WORLD CUP, KINGSBURY ON PODIUM
Three Canadian mogul skiers land on the podium in Deer Valley
Deer Valley, Utah – The Dufour-Lapointe sisters dominated the FIS World Cup in Deer Valley and almost repeated history.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) won her second FIS World Cup of the season and the 11th of her career. Her sister Chloé, who has now been on the podium at every World Cup event this season, joined her in the top three.
Justine led the way with a score of 77.80. Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva finished second with 77.75 points and Chloé came in third with 77.11 in a very tight final.
“I am very happy overall with my day, it was not easy and the course is a good challenge for us. It requires performance, clean skiing, big jumps and good speed,” said Justine. “The course is physically demanding. Throughout the day, I increased my rhythm and I have to admit that I am really happy with my skiing.
“I have the impression that all of the training that I did this summer is paying off. I felt good and fast without forcing anything. I think that is the feeling that all skiers look for. I am really happy to have the yellow bib too. I know the race is currently very close, but it’s always a good feeling!”
All three Dufour-Lapointe sisters qualified for the six-woman super final andMaxime, the eldest sister, finished just off the podium in fourth place with 74.46. With the win, Justine has overtaken Chloé in the standings by a score of 304 to 300. The two have been in a battle all season for the yellow bib and the overall points lead.
“I was a little surprised with the final results. I wasn’t necessarily expecting that,” said Chloé. “I look forward to watching the videos to better understand what the judges didn’t like about my final run. In any case, it motivates me to ski even better on Saturday and not give the judges the choice to give me the win. It make me more hungry for the dual moguls competition.”
Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) was the only Canadian male to reach the finals. Kingsbury, who entered the event having won 10 out of the last 11 World Cups, finished in second place to Australia’s Matt Graham. Kingsbury score of 82.75 fell short of Graham’s 83.48. In third place was Sweden’s Ludvig Fjallstrom with 81.41.
“I am very happy with the way I skied all day because I showed good consistency. The course was not easy during the final and usually the FIS let’s us fix the snow during the races. We were not able to this time, so it was more challenging,” said Kingsbury. “I was able to manage the pressure of this level of racing quite well. I am happy to be on the podium with Matt (Graham) and Ludvig (Fjallstrom), two of my best friends on the World Cup circuit. I would have liked to continue winning and have a perfect season, but it’s still second place and I can’t be disappointed with that!”
The depth of the women’s team was on display once again today as Andi Naude (Penticton, BC) and Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) qualified for the 16-woman small final with the Dufour-Lapointe sisters. Robichaud finished in 11th and Naude in 13th
OLIVIER ROCHON LANDS BACK ON THE WORLD CUP PODIUM
Aerialist Olivier Rochon Finishes Second at the World Cup in Deer Valley
Deer Valley, Utah – It’s been a long road back to the top for aerialist Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, QC). The 2012 FIS Crystal Globe winner has had a string of bad luck and injuries that have kept him off the World Cup podium since 2013.
That all changed today when Rochon finished second in Deer Valley in his first World Cup event of the season. Rochon had previously missed the World Cup in Beijing in December due to an ankle injury.
The podium finish is the seventh of the 26-year-old Rochon’s career.
“I am really happy with the way my day went. I landed a nice jump in the qualification and the rest of my day went just well after that. I was making a comeback from an ankle injury in December so I really couldn’t have asked for more,” said Rochon. “This is a first World Cup podium for me since 2013. Feels good to be back and I hope I can build on this.”
China’s Guangpu Qi was at the top of the leaderboard with a score of 127.15. Rochon was next with 122.13 and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko rounded out the top three with a score of 121.24.
In fourth was Quebec City’s Lewis Irving with a score of 115.83. This marks the highest finish for the young 20-year-old who competed in only the fourth World Cup of his career.
“This is my highest score to date by almost three points. I am new to the World Cup circuit, so I am here to have fun and learn without putting too much pressure on myself,” said Irving. “I am happy with my result because even if I had had a perfect jump, I would have been behind the others due to the degree of difficulty of my jump not being as high. But this is only the beginning for me and I will have time to work on new jumps during the off-season.”
Both Rochon and Irving improved their qualification round scores of 116.37 and 112.18, respectively, that landed them in fifth and seventh place to earn them a spot in the 12-man final. Travis Gerrits (Milton, ON) finished 22nd with a score of 86.73.
A total of 32 men from 10 different countries competed.
Catrine Lavallée finished in 25th place on the women’s side with a score of 32.77.
DEER VALLEY HOSTING FOUR WORLD CUPS IN THREE DAYS
Mogul skiers and aerialists will be competing in two events each
Dear Valley, Utah – Deer Valley Resort will be hosting a total of four FIS Freestyle World Cups this week for mogul skiers and aerialists. Deer Valley has been hosting multi-day World Cup events since 2007.
In 2015, Mikaël Kingsbury was the sole Canadian male to reach the podium in Deer Valley winning both the single and dual moguls events. The native of Deux-Montagnes, QC, has won all three FIS World Cups this season and the last 10 of 11. Kingsbury has also won the single moguls event in Deer Valley four consecutive times.
“We really love competing in Deer Valley because of how big the crowds get there and the atmosphere is always great competing at night,” said Kingsbury. “I could not have asked for a better start to the season so far winning in Ruka, Val Saint-Côme and Calgary. I’m feeling pretty good about my season and I hope it continues this week. I’m looking forward to being pushed by my teammates and the other competitors from around the world.”
Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) won the dual moguls event last year and finished second to American KC Oakley in singles. Chloé Dufour-Lapointe joined her sister on the podium in the single event with a third place finish.
The two sisters currently sit 1-2 in the FIS World Cup standings – Chloé holds a slight 36-point lead after winning the last World Cup in Calgary.
“I’m really looking to be consistent this week and to be 100% ready for both events,” said Chloé Dufour-Lapointe. “That’s not always easy with two events back-to-back. But I’m feeling good and mentally focused for it. Having a big crowd there pushes us to put on a good show. It’s amazing seeing how many people come out to watch. The course is always amazing too. I’m excited to be there.”
The single mogul event takes place on Thursday, February 4 and the dual moguls events on Saturday, February 6.
The following Canadian mogul skiers are expected to compete.
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC), Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC), Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC), Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC), Jordan Kober (Penticton, BC)
Women: Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC), Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC), Andi Naude (Penticton, BC), Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC), Julie Bergeron (Trois-Rivières, QC)
Travis Gerrits (Milton, ON), Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, QC), Lewis Irving (Quebec City, QC) and Catrine Lavallée (Montreal, QC) are set to compete this week in what will be the third and fourth FIS World Cups of the season for aerialists. A second World Cup in Deer Valley was added to make up for the cancelled Lake Placid event previously scheduled in the middle of January.
Only Irving and the currently injured Mélissa Corbo competed in last year’s event. At the time, Gerrits and Rochon were training in Europe and preparing for the FIS World Championships. The defending champions entering the event are Ashley Caldwell (USA) and Guamgpu Qi (CHN)
The Canadians are coming off of competing at the Canadian Aerial Open and Championship this weekend at Val Saint-Côme where Gerrits and Lavallée were crowned national champions – the fourth consecutive title for Gerrits and the first of Lavallée’s career.
“Deer Valley is going to be a quick event for us with two World Cups in 48 hours,” said Gerrits. “It’s something we aren’t really used to, but I’m really looking forward to it. I jumped really well in Val Saint-Côme and had a great training camp. I’m going into this event with a lot of confidence. Our whole team has been looking really good and we’ll be ready for this competition.”