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Who are the athletes how have they been chosen?
Guillaume Morisset Morisset lives and trains in Stoneham, Quebec, and is one of the smoothest riders in the country. Hes 23-years-old, and already has some pretty serious titles, like the 2003 U.S. Open title, to his credit. Most recently, he won the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational in Whistler with a run that included back-to-back 900s.
Justin Lamoureux Lamoureux is a Whistler local, and usually finishes in the top 10 of any event he enters. Recently he was fourth in the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational, and mixes up his runs with a lot of spins and inverted tricks.
Maelle Ricker Three knee surgeries later, and Whistlers Maelle Ricker is still at it. She is 24-years-old, our current national champion, and finished seventh in the world snowboarding championships. She also finished a close second in the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational with a run that included frontside 540s and 720s. Ricker is no stranger to the X Games, and won gold in the snowboardcross back in 1999.
Natasza Zurek Zurek has had a quiet season, but came on strong with a pair of silver medals at World Cup events in Japan. She won the Ripzone title with a frontside 540 and a crippler 720. She has World Cup gold medals to her credit, a U.S. Open title, some big wins in the Vans Triple Crown series, and some strong finishes at the X Games.
Philippe Belanger Belanger was sixth in the X Games superpipe this year, and sixth in the World Skiing Invitational in Whistler. He goes huge, loves to spin, and is incredibly aggressive. A Quebec native, he divides his time between Mont Tremblant and Mammoth Mountain in California.
Philippe Larose Larose has won the U.S. Open Superpipe for two years in a row, and although he is just 22-years-old, he was one of the pioneers of the new school freeskiing movement. He finished seventh behind Belanger at the World Skiing Invitational.
Sarah Burke Sarah Burke hails from Midland, Ontario, spends her summers teaching SMS camps in Whistler, and lives in Mammoth, California during the winter. This year she was second in the U.S. Open Superpipe, and first in the World Skiing Invitational. She wins almost every contest she enters.
Ross Powers Over his career, Powers has won just about every honour a snowboarder can win, capping it off nicely in February of 2002 with a gold medal at the Olympics. He is easily one of the favourites to win at this event.