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Thompson grounded heading into Worlds

Ski-cross racer on four-race World Cup win streak



If an old myth needs updating, the Midas touch may soon become the Marielle touch.

Everything local ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson has touched has turned to gold lately, as she has taken all three FIS World Cup races this season and four in a row dating back to last season. At 22, Thompson is already a two-time Crystal Globe winner as world champion, and the defending Olympic gold medallist is already sitting pretty in her chase for a third, working on the longest World Cup winning streak of her career.

Reached by email in Europe, Thompson said even though she's been blazing through the competition, she's working to ensure she stays grounded as she heads into the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard Championships in Kreischberg, Austria. The ski-cross event runs Saturday.

"I think my mindset stays the same, which is just going from race to race focusing on my skiing," she wrote. "With my success I definitely have a lot of confidence going into World Championships."

Thompson raced at Kreischberg just once in her career, taking third at the World Cup event there last season. Thompson stressed with more snow in the area, she anticipates the course will be in a bit better shape than last year. Even in different conditions, she knows she already has a feel for the course.

"I'm going to feel out the track in training, ski as fast as I can in qualifying, and then the most important part of the Kreischberg course will be the start since there weren't many passing opportunities last year," she wrote.

Using the Val Thorens races as the launch pad into World Championships allowed Thompson to send a message to the rest of the FIS field. Over the course of the two days, Thompson was one of only two skiers to make consecutive finals, which she described as a particular challenge on that course, explaining there are many more passing opportunities than is typical.

"The back-to-back races are tough to be consistent, especially on such a long course with so many passing opportunities. It takes a lot to mentally prepare for the second day since there is such an early start and we are out on the hill all day with qualifying and racing," she noted.

On Jan. 20, SportBC announced Thompson as a finalist for the Female Senior Athlete of the Year at the 49th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards. West Vancouver wheelchair basketball player Janet McLachlan and Kamloops speedskater Jessica Hewitt were the other two nominees.

Former Whistler sit-skier Josh Dueck is also up for the Athlete with a Disability honour. The awards will be given out March 12 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.


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