The Canadian freestyle team is in good shape heading into this weekends World Cup competition in Fernie, with a number of athletes coming off podium finishes.
In the past two weeks, mogul skier Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau of Quebec won the gold medal at Tremblant and a bronze at Lake Placid. Aerialist Jeff Bean of Ottawa did the same, and Ryan Blais of Alberta did the opposite, winning gold at Lake Placid and bronze at Tremblant. The team is also well-padded with athletes that have proven their ability to rise to the top on any given week.
With the momentum they have, it seems unlikely that the Canadians will fail to win a single medal at home.
The Dual Moguls competition will take place on Jan. 25, and the aerials the following day. Both events will be broadcast on Sportsnet the week of Feb. 17.
Whistler freestyle fans will be watching the World Cup event closely, because up until the Canadian Freestyle Ski Associations decision to host the 2003 event in Fernie, it had been held annually in Whistler since 1991. Fernie will get at least two more World Cup events after this one, at which point the CFSA will re-evaluate.
After supporting the event for more than a decade, Whistler-Blackcomb decided to opt out of the event because of the crowds anticipated as a result of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the strain on resources.