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Canada Snowboard counts 2012 achievements

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Talented snowboarders seems to be one thing Canada has in spades, and though the national halfpipe team was in disarray this year due to the lack of funding the overall big picture is rosy.

On the World Cup circuit, Canadian athletes won 15 medals — the majority of them by Dominique Maltais and Maëlle Ricker in snowboardcross. Maltais also won her third career Crystal Globe for finishing on top of the rankings, as well as a gold medal at X Games, while Ricker placed second in the rankings defended her Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom title for the sixth year in a row.

The addition of slopestyle to the Olympic calendar was also good news for Canada with some of the top athletes in the world. Sebastien Toutant finished the season on top of the Winter Dew Tour rankings, as well as first in the TTR World Tour for slopestyle and first in the Burton Global Open Series. Mark McMorris was also solid, winning gold medals at Winter X Games in big air and slopestyle.

In addition to Toutant and McMorris the team also showed its depth in slopestyle at all ages. At the Youth Olympic Games in Austria, Michael Ciccarelli placed first on the men's side, while Audrey McManiman was the top female.

Darcy Sharpe of the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club placed second in the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championship, although he isn't officially a member of the national team at this point and his result wasn't one of the 41 counted by Canada Snowboard this year.

Sharpe also won the Big Hip contest at the TTR World Tour five-star Shred Show two weeks ago.

On the women's side, North Vancouver's Spencer O'Brien won the TTR tour for slopestyle and was the Winter Dew Tour champion. She also won the O'Neill Evolution competition in Switzerland.

The race team struggled for most of the season, but Caroline Calve made history in Italy this past season after winning a parallel giant slalom. It was the first alpine snowboard win for a Canadian woman.

The grand tally at the end of the season was 15 FIS World Cup podiums (five gold, five silver and five bronze), 11 TTR podiums at five and six-star events (seven gold, three silver and one bronze, not including Darcy Sharpe's Big Hip win in Whistler at The Shred Show), seven Winter X Games podiums (three gold, two silver and two bronze), six Winter Dew Tour podiums (three gold, two silver and one bronze), two Youth Olympic Games podiums, and one silver medal at the FIS junior championships.

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