Steve Omischl of North Bay, Ontario, is no stranger to the World Cup podium, but even he could not have expected to win four gold medals in a row.
Although last season was shortened by injuries, Omischl still medalled three times, winning a gold and two bronze medals in World Cup. In his last two appearances last season, the world championships and World Cup finals, he won gold medals.
He kept the streak alive into this season, winning back-to-back gold medals at the World Cup opener at Mt. Buller, Australia.
"Im so psyched right now," said the 24-year-old. "Ive been waiting for a couple of wins like this for a long time, but I still only consider myself in the beginning stages of my World Cup career. Even Niko (retired teammate Nicolas Fontaine) didnt start winning consistently until he was eight years into his career."
Omischl credits his results to hard work, and the fact that he doesnt feel any pressure to win.
"I was so relaxed on the hill (on Sunday). I didnt get too amped. I didnt try to get too caught up in the moment," said Omischl.
On the first day of competition (Sept. 6), Omischl finished with a score of 231.88, edging out Ou Xiaotao of Chinas 231.39. Christian Kaufmann of Switzerland was third overall with a 223.99.
Jeff Bean of Ottawa was the next Canadian in 14 th overall, and Kyle Nissen of Calgary was 18 th .
On the second day of jumping, Omischl scored an unbeatable 242.63. Next on the podium was Dmitri Dashinski of Belarus with a 235.00, followed by Martin Walti of Switzerland with a 232.05.
Bean was 16 th and Nissen found himself in 18 th once again.
In the womens competition, the top Canadian on the first day of competition was Deidra Dionne of Red Deer Alberta in 11 th place. Veronika Bauer was 13 th .
The top three spots went to Xu Nanna of China, followed by Alisa Camplin and Lydia Ierodiaconou of Austalia.
The red and white fared much better on Sunday, with Bauer winning the silver medal. Ierordiaconou took the gold, and bronze went to Nannan.
Dionne finished in 11 th place once again.
Following Mt. Buller, the World Cup freestyle season will continue from November 22 to 23 with halfpipe and snowboardcross events at Saas-Fee, Switzerland. The moguls and aerials teams will compete Dec. 5 and 6 at Ruka, Finland.
2003-2004 team announced
Team Canada for the 2003-2004 season was announced at the end of August. With the retirement of top athletes Tami Bradley, Stephane Rochon, and Scott Bellavance on the moguls team, and Nicolas Fontaine on the aerials team, the Canadian Team will see some of its younger athletes given an opportunity to compete.
National Aerials Team
Jeff Bean Ottawa, ON
Ryan Blais Grande Prairie, AB
Kyle Nissen Calgary, AB
Steve Omischl North Bay, ON
Warren Shouldice Calgary, AB
Veronika Bauer North York, ON
Deidra Dionne Red Deer, AB
Amber Peterson Thunder Bay, ON
National Moguls Team
Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau Drummondville, QC
Marc-Andre Moreau Chambly, QC
Jim Schiman Cranbrook, BC
Warren Tanner Grimsby, ON
JF Therrien Laval, QC
Chris Wong Prince George, BC
Jennifer Heil Spruce Grove, AB
Elisa Kurylowicz Manotick, ON
Kristi Richards Summerland, BC
Kelly Ringstad Whistler, BC
Jennifer Simm Prince George, BC
Stephanie St-Pierre Victoriaville, QC