Skiers in last weekend's 17th annual Whistler Cup races saw every type of condition over three days of racing, with sun, snow, rain, fog and constantly changing course conditions. Whistler skiers, as familiar with the runs as they were with the conditions, made a huge impact with three podiums in the K2 category, and both overall awards as the top Canadians.
Broderick Thompson earned the Dave Murray Award as top Canadian male with a gold medal in the super G race, a bronze in the slalom and a seventh place finish in the giant slalom. Meanwhile, Kailee Darlington earned the Nancy Greene Award as top Canadian female with a silver medal in super G, and an eighth place result in GS.
Thompson, who also won the Dave Murray Award as a K1 in 2007, was happy with his weekend, and is hoping to move up to the B.C. Ski Team next year as a FIS racer.
"I just raced as hard as I could every day," he said. "I know the course, they did a great job with the conditions, and we trained all week to get ready."
Thompson and Darlington were both named to Team Canada after the nationals the previous week, and were able to participate in an Iris-sponsored camp with national level coaches in the week prior to the Whistler Cup. Thompson welcomed the training opportunity, as well as the opportunity to improve his seeding in the Whistler Cup races.
"I really wanted to get a good start position because you never know how the course is going to hold up at this time of the year," he said.
Thompson is also happy with the way he's been racing speed events this year, although he doesn't have a preference. "Slalom used to be my best event, but I seem to be doing really well in the speed events this year. " he said.
Darlington came into the race still shaken up after a crash at the national championships where she injured her arm, but she wasn't looking for any excuses. She set out to be the top Canadian in every race and was happy with her results.
"The nationals are a big deal, but this is the biggest race of the season so it definitely feels good to be able to step up in a few races," she said.
"The Iris camp helped a lot, I think, and we've all been pretty much racing straight for two weeks leading up to this so it's also nice to see the work pay off. You always have higher expectations when you're racing at home, even if it is against girls from all over the world.