By Andrew Mitchell
Officially making the transition into winter, Alpine Canada announced its roster of athletes for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.
It’s a long list this year, with 38 athletes making the cut after a summer of on-snow and dryland training. The goal with such a huge roster is to qualify a full team of 22 athletes for the 2007 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships this February in Are, Sweden.
The team includes five World Cup medalists from last season, when Canada recorded its best ever standing in the Nations Cup — sixth overall, compared to 12 th the previous year.
The team is led by veteran Thomas Grandi of Canmore, Alberta, who has two World Cup wins and several other podium appearances to his credit last season. Other medal winners include Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec, who has five World Cup medals; Mont-Tremblant’s Erik Guay, who has four World Cup medals; Francois Bourque of New Richmond, who has two World Cup podiums in three seasons; and Kelly Vanderbeek, who missed the first World Cup win of her career by just one-hundredth of a second.
There are also four graduates of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club on the roster — siblings Britt and Mike Janyk, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, and Robbie Dixon.
According to Max Gartner, the chief athletics officer for Alpine Canada, all 38 team members have met the higher criteria set by the team.
“Over the past years we’ve raised the bar and increased the standards for joining the Canadian Alpine Ski Team,” he said. “A greater number of athletes are meeting this challenge. Our own organizational test is to find the resources to design and lead the best and broadest programs in the world.”
Through Alpine Canada’s strategic plan, the team has set aggressive goals for this season — 12 World Cup podiums, two medals at the World Championships, increasing the number of men’s quota spots to 29 and women’s spots to 27, finish the season with six athletes in the top-15 ranking, and finish sixth or better in the Nations Cup.
Those goals are milestones for Alpine Canada’s larger goal of winning four medals and placing 75 per cent of the national team in the top-12 at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Paralympic goals are even more aggressive.
Women’s National Team
Brigitte Acton — Mont Tremblant, QC
Emily Brydon — Fernie, BC
Allison Forsyth — Nanaimo, BC
Gail Kelly — Ste-Anges de Beauce, QC
Sherry Lawrence — Calgary, AB
Shona Rubens — Canmore, AB
Genevieve Simard — Val-Morin, QC
Kelly VanderBeek — Kitchener, ON
Women’s Development Team
Emilie Desforges — Montreal, QC
Anna Goodman — Pointe Claire, QC
Britt Janyk — Whistler, BC
Marie-Pier Prefontaine — St-Sauveur, QC
Danielle Poleschuk — Calgary, AB
Megan Ryley — Toronto, ON
Larisa Yurkiw — Owen Sound, ON
Men’s National Team
Patrick Biggs — Orleans, ON
Francois Bourque — New Richmond, QC
Julien Cousineau — Lachute, QC
Thomas Grandi — Canmore, AB
Erik Guay — Mont Tremblant, QC
Stefan Guay — Mont Tremblant, QC
Jeffrey Frisch — Mont Treblant, QC
Jan Hudec — Calgary, AB
Michael Janyk — Whistler, BC
John Kucera — Calgary, AB
Vincent Lavoie — Cap Rouge, QC
Manuel Osborne-Paradis — Vancouver, BC
Jean-Philippe Roy – Ste-Flavie, QC
Ryan Semple — Montreal, QC
Gareth Sine — Calgary, AB
Brad Spence — Calgary, AB
Paul Stutz — Banff, AB
Men’s Development Team
Scott Barrett — Toronto, ON
Robbie Dixon — North Vancouver, BC
Louis-Pierre Helie — Berthierville, QC
Trevor White — Calgary, AB
Patrick Wright — Oakville, ON