Local youth score freestyle medals at Canada Winter Games

Two golds, two bronze so far for Whistler skiers

Two Whistler freestyle skiers have already made their mark at the Canada Winter Games taking place in Prince George, B.C.

Last weekend saw the Slopestyle and Big Air events take place at Tabor Mountain Ski Resort, with Teal Henderson Harle, 18, winning gold in both events. “It was a really nice day and everyone killed it,” said Harle after Saturday’s slopestyle event in a release from Team BC. “The course was great and I was really pumped — it felt great to win. That was my goal for the event and my training went really well.”

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Also on form was Sofiane Gagnon, 15, who managed bronze in both Slopestyle and Big Air, despite the focus of her Canada Winter Games campaign being the moguls event, which takes place later this week.

“I came here to get a medal in moguls, so this is such an awesome accomplishment,” said Gagnon in the Team BC release. “Everyone on our team was really good out there and it was a beautiful day for skiing. We are all really good friends and we train together so to win together is so great. My discipline is moguls and that’s where my focus is.”

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club has seven U16 athletes representing B.C. in alpine events; Kasper Woolley, Alexander Valentin, Kyle Alexander, Asher Jordan, Ella Renzoni, Katie Fleckenstein and Sierra King. At the Super G on Sunday (February 15) Woolley, Jordan and Valentin placed fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Fleckenstein placed eighth in the female Super G. Giant Slalom, Slalom and Ski Cross events are taking place this week.

WMSC, J4 kids excel at Ski Cross

The second Whistler Blackcomb 13 and under Snowcross took place last weekend (Feb. 14 – 15) with local club skiers winning all but one category. In the nine year-old division, Khiara Arrigoni and Jack Thomas from the J4 program picked up victories. Sara Stiel from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) took the Female 10 division along with fellow WMSC members Matthias Shorter and Jaden Dawson leading the 11 year-olds. For the 12 year-olds, Jack MacDonald (WMSC) and Sydney Lovell Schmidt (J5) took first and Finn Finestone of the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club managed a win in the Male 13 and under snowboarders.  

Cairns podiums at US Adaptive Nationals

After some warm days in Aspen, Colorado last weekend during the US Adaptive Nationals Speed Series, Whistler para-alpine racer Alex Cairns managed a bronze medal in the super combined, his first International Paralympic Committee points since last year’s U.S. Nationals.

“In the slalom I wasn’t overly optimistic because I have been struggling to improve it, but I made an OK lap and a lot of people didn’t make it down,” said Cairns. “It was an insanely hot day down here, but the tracks held up pretty good.”

Cairns didn’t have a great run in the Super G at U.S. Nationals this year, but after returning to Kimberley for training he will work on Super G and Downhill in anticipation of the NORAM title and Canadian Nationals.

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