By Andrew Mitchell
Organizers of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival confirmed invited skiers and riders for festival contests last week, as well as completed the entry draw for the rest of the field. As always the list of athletes ranges from top international names, to up and coming skiers looking to make a name for themselves.
Some of the snowboarders to watch for include Finnish rider Anti Autti in the superpipe and big air; up and coming Calgary rider Dustin Craven; national team riders Brad Martin, Jeff Batchelor, Justin Lamoureux, Crispin Lipscomb, Brendan Davis, Kory Wright, Dan Raymond, Sarah Conrad, Dominique Vallée, Katie Tsuyuki, Maëlle Ricker, and Mercedes Nicoll; members of the B.C. Snowboard Team; top American rider Luke Wynen; Japanese riders like Ryo Aono, Rio Tahara, Fumio and Daisuke Murakami, Yuki Furihata, Shiho Nakashima, and Soko Yamaoka; two-time Olympian Natasza Zurek; jibbers Logan Short and Aaron Shapiro; regular TWSSF big cheque holder Mike Page; and the always entertaining Travis Williams, to name just a few.
For the skiers, the list of athletes includes just about everybody, including Jon Olsson, Swedish legend and the TWSSF’s winningest athlete; fellow Swede Andreas Hatveit; American stars Tanner Hall, Sammy Carlson, Steele Spence, Simon Dumont, Michelle Parker, Grete Eliasen, and John Symms; French high-flyers Candide Thovex and Marie Martinod; New Zealand’s Jossi Wells; Switzerland’s Virginie Faivre; and all the top Canadians, including Charles Gagnier, Justin Dorey, TJ Schiller, Scott Hibbert, Corey Vanular, Charley Ager, Sarah Burke, and Kaya Turski.
The complete list of competitors and schedule of events is posted online at www.whistler2007.com — just click on any event and look for the link to the list of registered athletes.
More than $100,000 in cash and prizes is on the line this year, with skiers and snowboarders competing together in two big air competitions, as well as the Stompede, Superpipe, and Rail Jam events.