Canada’s Mulligan third in Rio Tinto Whistler Cup Slalom

WHISTLER, B.C. (April 7, 2012) – Sam Mulligan led the way for Canada at the Whistler Cup on Saturday with a third-place finish in the K2 boys’ slalom in Whistler, B.C.

Mulligan, of Vancouver, B.C., was fifth after the first run and laid down a stellar second run to claim bronze.

“I was really excited because on the first run I was only fifth and then I had a really fast second run,” said Mulligan, who skis for the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club. “I just let it hang a little bit more on the second run and it was really fun.

“The course (in the second run) was actually set by one of the Whistler Mountain coaches so with him having set it, I was pretty confident. It was a lot faster and straighter than the first course. The snow was a little bit soft, so there were some ruts, but I just sort of fought through them and it was a really good run.”

Mulligan, who finished with a two-run combined time of one minute, 23.88 seconds, has been impressed with the level of competition at this year’s Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan.

“I think they really stepped it up this year,” said the 15-year-old, who finished fourth in Friday’s super-G. “They brought the good Italians and Swiss and I think there’s a lot of really good competition. It will be interesting to see how I do in the giant slalom tomorrow.”

The boys’ K2 slalom was won by Marco Michel, of Switzerland, in 1:23.09. Italy’s Paolo Padello was second (1:23.41).

“Yes, yes, really happy,” said Michel. “The second run was really good. I had a good feeling and it worked. It’s the best skiers in the world, so it’s a great feeling.”

Other members of Team Canada racing on Saturday were Frédéric Courville, of the Club de compétition du Mont Olympia, who was 11th, Justin Beaurivage, of Club de Ski Owl’s Head, who was 18th, Keagan Sharp, of Team Panorama Ski Club, who was 22nd, Simon Fournier, of the Club de ski Mont-Tremblant, who was 26th and Cameron Alexander, of Whistler Mountain Ski Club, who was 32nd. Samuel Lamhamedi, of Club de ski Stoneham, was disqualified in his second run, while Riley Seger, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, did not finish his first run and James Crawford, also of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, sat out the second run.

The top Canadian in the girls’ K2 giant slalom was Toronto, Ont., native Stephanie Currie, who skis for the Osler Bluff Ski Club. She finished ninth.

“I was really excited for the races today but unfortunately it didn’t go as well as I wanted it to,” said Currie, who clocked a two-run combined time of 1:31.26. “I’ll have chances at other times and in the grand scheme of things it’s just another race.”

The girls’ giant slalom was won by Jessica Hilzinger, of Liechtenstein, in 1:29.26, followed by Italy’s Beatrice Barbagelata (1:29.90) and Japan’s Narumi Katagiri (1:30.38).

“It was very hard race because there were many good athletes, said Hilzinger, who was second in Friday’s super-G. “But it was very nice, I’m really happy”

Katagiri was especially pleased to find herself on the podium.

“I am very happy to get on the podium because today was the first time I was third in the K2 category,” said Katagiri with the help of a translator. “This course was great because it had a good rhythm change and I liked that.

“The top racers are so good and the fact that I can ski with them builds my confidence. The world is very big, but I’d like to be one of the top racers in the near future.”

Closely behind Currie were Team Canada members Mikayla Martin, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, in 10th, Courtney Hoffos, of Windermere Valley Ski Club, in 11th and Ali Nullmeyer, of the Georgian Peaks Ski Club, in 12th. Alexandra Courchesne, of Équipe de ski de compétition Mont Saint-Sauveur, was 17th, Alexandra Burk, of the Lake Louise Ski Club, was 18th and Stefanie Fleckenstein, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, was 19th. Ingrid Gendron, of the Mont Orford Ski Club, and Haley McKercher, of the Sunshine Ski Club did not finish their first runs.

“The girls skied well, but the competition was pretty fierce in the GS (giant slalom) today,” said Canada’s team lead, coach Jean-François Bélisle.

For the 2012 edition of the Whistler Cup, racers in the K1 category are competing in a K1-racing festival, and not in a sanctioned FIS race. In the girls’ K1 giant slalom, which was based on one run, Carlotta Saracco, of Italy, was first (43.88), Asami Katagiri, of Japan, was second (44.40), and Chelsea Kumono, also of Japan, was third (46.78). The top Canadian was Katie Fleckenstein, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, who placed fourth (47.15). In the boys’ K1 slalom, Kuba Sudomericky, of Devil’s Glen Country Club, won in a two-run combined time of 1:08.76. Liam Wallace, of the Sunshine Ski Club, was second (1:09.41) and Japan’s Hayata Wakatsuki was third (1:09.53).

On Sunday, the K2 and K1 girls are scheduled to compete in slalom, while the K2 and K1 boys will race giant slalom. Follow the Whistler Cup races via live timing, at

To view an event schedule and for more information about the Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, go to


APRIL 7, 2012 – WHISTLER CUP – WHISTLER, B.C. – K2 GIRLS’ GIANT SLALOM (Unofficial results)

APRIL 7, 2012 – WHISTLER CUP – WHISTLER, B.C. – K2 BOYS’ SLALOM (Unofficial results)


APRIL 7, 2012 – WHISTLER CUP K1 FESTIVAL – WHISTLER, B.C. – K1 BOYS’ SLALOM (Unofficial results)

The Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, is an international event for ski racers aged 13 and 14 in the K2 category. For the 2012 edition, the Whistler Cup is for athletes in the K2 category and not in the K1 category as in the past (K1 racers will be competing in a K1-racing festival). The Whistler Cup will be awarded to the best nation’s team. In its 20th year, it features 350 skiers from 18 countries. World Cup skiers who have participated in years past include Canada's Erik Guay and Erin Mielzynski, plus international stars including Slovenia's Tina Maze, Sweden’s Anja Pärson and Benjamin Raich, of Austria.

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