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Snowboard World Cup season underway

Anderson comes out of retirement to race



The alpine snowboard season got underway last week with an indoor race at Landgraaf, Netherlands.

There was some added energy this year now that the Parallel Slalom event - a short-course, head-to-head race - has been added to the Olympic calendar for 2014.

Italian riders Roland Fischnaller and Aaron March scooped up the top two spots on the podium, while Austria's Andreas Prommegger edged out another Italian rider, Meinhard Erlacher, for the bronze.

Darren Gardner was the top Canadian in 14th while Jasey-Jay Anderson - coming out of retirement after winning a gold medal in the parallel giant slalom in the 2010 Games - placed 17th.

On the women's side, Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli of Switzerland was first, followed by Ekaterina Tedegesheva of Russia. Austria's Marion Kreiner edged Nadya Ochner in the small final to take the bronze.

Caroline Calve was the top Canadian in 13th, while Ariane Lavigne was 34th.

The big news for the team was the return of Anderson, who retired after the 2009-2010 season with an Olympic gold medal and a career that includes 61 World Cup medals (27 of them gold), three crystal globes in the overall standings and two crystal globes in snowboard cross.

"I wanted to feel good again. I wanted to feel like an athlete," he told interviewers at ITV after the race. "With the new snowboard company, with the (back) injury, it gave me a good reason to come back and to do my testing, to do my development, to do my rehab and to find joy in life and sport again."

Anderson said he had some work to do on his fitness and skills but was up for the challenge. He also said it will be hard to be away from his wife and two children again but he couldn't stay away.

"The travelling is the worst part of all this, but I love participating and giving back to the sport and being part of what's given me so much."

Matthew Morison and Michael Lambert, the two racers that have filled Anderson's shoes for the past year and a half, did not compete at Landgraaf.




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