Teal Harle had a Remembrance Day to remember in Milan.
And the 20-year-old said he could have made the first FIS World Cup big air of the season an even happier event.
As it stands, Harle took fifth in a strong field, besting a number of more experienced skiers in the process. Switzerland's Kai Mahler edged Norway's Oystein Braaten for the win, while fellow Norwegian Eirik Sateroy was a few points behind in third. Harle placed seven points back of Sateroy for a podium spot and was 13.4 back of Mahler.
In an email from Austria, where he's currently taking part in a training camp, Harle said he could have increased his score if he had tried runs that were a little trickier, but opted for a slightly more conservative approach that increased his odds of finishing.
"It's always awesome even to make it to the finals, and in this case the field was stacked so the qualifiers were super tough. I'm happy with my result although I think I could have done a little better for myself," he wrote. "I had been struggling with my second trick in the practice and I couldn't seem to land it cleanly. In the finals, I got my first trick out of the way then had two chances on the second trick. I wanted to try something a little harder that could have bumped my score up but I decided to play it safe-ish and land something. Which is what I did and I'm happy about that."
The event took place within the city of Milan on a scaffold jump in the city's EXPerience Park, which hosted the EXPO 2015 Universal Exhibition. The competition was the first as part of the inaugural FIS Super Series tour, which will also have stops in Moenchengladbach, Germany and Quebec City before the season is through.
Harle, a graduate of the local Podium of Life Academy run by father Shane, said the atmosphere was different from others he experienced.
"The event was awesome. I've never been to a city big air before and it was really cool. The whole jump was built on scaffolding with snow on top. I was surprised with how good the jump was. Might have been one of the nicer jumps I've come across!" he noted.
Harle had time on snow this summer skiing the glacier with Momentum Ski Camps, working on the tricks he employed in Milan. He noted he missed one ski trip to Australia because of work commitments, but got back on his skis in Switzerland before heading south to Italy.
After a taste of success to start the year, Harle will hunker down and look to boost his skills even more before the season ramps up with intensity in the new year. He expects his next major event will be a World Cup slopestyle stop in January, though he's not sure if it'll be the French stop in Font Romeu or the Italian event a couple weeks later in Seiser Alm.
"I will be in Austria for 2 weeks working on some cool new stunts for this season," he said. "After that, I'll be shredding Whistler all of December, hopefully find some powder and have some fun before full on competition season."
Freestyle Canada launched
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is no more.
Freestyle Canada is the new name for the national organization overseeing freestyle skiing after it rebranded itself on Nov. 10 with help from the Canadian Olympic Committee's National Sport Federation Enhancement Initiative program. CEO Bruce Robinson hopes the change will help raise awareness of the sport.
"Building a new brand identity was critically important for growing the community of freestyle skiing," Robinson said in a release. "The Freestyle Canada brand is progressive and bold, in short, disruptive. The brand will unite and empower our community and make all Canadians proud. My hope is that Freestyle Canada's brand will stand out within the national sport community."
As part of the rebrand, the organization launched a new website at freestylecanada.ski.