It was a busy week for sports with four national sport organizations naming their official teams for the 2010 Olympic Games following weekend World Cup events. Those naming teams included Cross-Country Canada (Monday), the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association and Canada Snowboard (Monday) and Alpine Canada Alpin (Wednesday).
Alpine team qualifies 19 athletes
Alpine Canada Alpin has had trouble replicating its 2007 total of 14 World Cup medals and over 50 top 10 placings over the 2008 and 2009 seasons, although the team continues to set records - like the record of four athletes finishing in the top 15 of a men's slalom event that was set just last week.
The team has also had its share of injuries and retirements, the latter due to injury. Missing the Olympics this year are medal contenders Francois Bourque, Kelly VanderBeek, Jean-Phillipe Roy, as well as outstanding rookie Larisa Yurkiw. Whistler's Robbie Dixon bumped his head on a door while walking on icy ground and while he will be in the start gate for the Olympic Games he missed several warm-up World Cup events.
Of the 19 athletes chosen to represent Canada the majority are from Quebec and only seven have previous Olympic experience.
Julien Cousineau - Quebec
Robbie Dixon - Whistler
Jeffrey Frisch - Quebec
Erik Guay - Quebec
Louis-Pierre Helie - Quebec
Jan Hudec - Alberta
Michael Janyk - Whistler
Tyler Nella - Ontario
Manuel Osborne-Paradis - Vancouver/Whistler
Ryan Semple - Quebec
Brad Spence - Calgary
Trevor White - Calgary
Brigitte Acton - Quebec
Emily Brydon - Fernie
Marie-Michele Gagnon - Quebec
Anna Goodman - Quebec
Britt Janyk - Whistler
Erin Mielzynski - Ontario
Shona Rubens - Alberta
Freestyle: too many athletes for two few spots
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Team has been the most dominant in the world in recent seasons, winning the overall Nations Cup title three years in a row. The disciplines that are included in the Olympics are moguls, aerials and ski cross - a sport that was added to the Olympic roster in 2006. As well, results from dual moguls events and ski halfpipe are included in the rankings.
However, while Canada's medal prospects are high in all three Olympic disciplines the number of spots available to each country is 18 - too few to represent all of Canada's talent in freestyle.