The stakes are high for Canada’s halfpipe and slopestyle athletes hoping to go to the Sochi Olympic Games. It all starts with the Dew Cup in Breckenridge, Colorado this weekend.
The Dew Cup is the first competition that counts towards Olympic qualification results for both of these newly-mintedOlympic disciplines.
Halfpipe Team Head Coach Trennon Paynter said his team members have the tricks they learned this summer locked and loaded.
That’s true for the reigning men’s FIS World Champion, Mike Riddle, who learned a “Doub-flat 7” this summer.” Basically its like a flying double cartwheel out of the pipe, where your chest is towards the sky and you land backwards.
On the women’s side, reigning World Champion, X Games Champion and Euro X Games Champion Rosalind Groenewoud said, “I’m feeling pretty good, but I am nervous, I’m always nervous and excited to get into the pipe at a competition.”
The team spent last week training at the Copper pipe – one of the only pipes in the world with enough snow for early season training. There were hundreds of athletes – national team members, professional riders and up-and-comers alike – dropping in every hour. Groenewoud said, “There were serious elbows at the top of that pipe and constant near-misses.”
Nevertheless, she also noticed, “There’s a lot more less-experienced girls training here. It’s kind of cool because it’s what I hoped after the Olympic announcement, that more girls would come to the pipe, and it’s coming true.”
The Dew Cup slopestyle finals are on Sunday, December 16 and reigning Dew Cup, X Games and Euro X Games champion Kaya Turski is ready.
“The coaches and my team have done a great job in keeping me in my comfort zone. I’m just going to go with the flow, keep my cool and trust in all the physical and mental training I’ve been doing,” said Turski.
She has also noticed a growing number of women in her discipline. “In the past year it’s really skyrocketed. I expect to see that continue with the Olympic push. There are a lot of girls out there working really hard and I’m thrilled about it.
“Slopestyle is the sport of the future and I’m really excited to see more and more kids in the park,” said the Montreal-native.
Photo: Freestyle Canada
SnowOnline Editor: Lori Knowles