Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012-13 Canadian Alpine Ski Team unveiled

CALGARY, ALTA. (May 10, 2012) – Twenty-nine athletes were named to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team on Thursday as Alpine Canada continues its preparations for the 2012-13 World Cup season and the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

The squad of 19 men and 10 women features three new additions and nine racers who have recorded World Cup or world championship podiums – including reigning world downhill champion Erik Guay, who has 17 top-three World Cup results.

Guay, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., headlines a strong men’s team that features several big names returning from injury and is hoping to add to an impressive streak of world championship podiums at the 2013 event in Schladming, Austria. Canada has claimed medals in three straight world championship men’s downhill events, including back-to-back golds for John Kucera, of Calgary, Alta., and Guay in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Meanwhile, Erin Mielzynski, of Guelph, Ont. – who last season became the first Canadian to win a World Cup slalom race since 1971 – and fellow podium newcomer Marie-Michèle Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., are part of a youthful women’s team that is hoping to build on a breakthrough year.

“It’s the start of three very important years for us with world championships, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and then the 2015 world championships,” said Paul Kristofic, Alpine Canada’s vice-president of sports. “The goal is come into the season with a healthy team, a full complement of podium-potential racers, and to try to defend our streak of world championship podiums. We’re very much looking forward to that challenge.”

Calgary’s Jan Hudec – the top-performing Canadian alpine racer on the World Cup circuit in 2011-12 – is part of a strong speed squad that includes Guay, Kucera, downhill sensation Ben Thomsen, of Invermere, B.C., returning star and three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Vancouver, B.C., plus Robbie Dixon, of Whistler, B.C., who came agonizingly close to his first podium with a fourth-place finish in super-G in Beaver Creek, USA, in 2011.

Michael Janyk, of Whistler, B.C., Julien Cousineau, of Lachute, Que., and Calgary duo Brad Spence and Trevor White lead an experienced slalom team, while Jean-Philippe Roy, of Sainte-Flavie, Que., returns as the team’s giant slalom specialist. Overall Nor-Am champion Erik Read, of Calgary, is one of several talented youngsters on the men’s squad, which also includes national team newcomers Trevor Philp, 20, of Calgary – a student at the University of Denver who is a former member of the Raymond James Alberta Ski Team – and Whistler’s Conrad Pridy, of the B.C. Ski Team. Pridy, 23, is the older brother of fellow national team member Morgan Pridy, 21.

“Trevor (Philp) was a named prospect athlete and he showed he’s an amazing talent,” Kristofic said of the 2012 Canadian slalom champion. “We are working with him to balance school in the U.S. and starting to race in the World Cup. Conrad is a great story of an athlete who fought his way from invitee status to full-time status. For him, building consistency will be the key.”

Philp is looking forward to completing the step up to the national team after making his World Cup debut in Adelboden, Switzerland, in January.

“I’m very excited,” said Philp, who is currently wrapping up his school year in Denver. “The plan is to come to Calgary in June and start working out. I’m very pleased to be joining the Canadian team.”

On the women’s side, veteran speed stars Kelly VanderBeek, of Kitchener,Ont., and Larisa Yurkiw, of Owen Sound, Ont., will continue their comeback from long-term injuries. Newcomer Elli Terwiel, of Heffley Creek, B.C., a student at the University of Vermont, made six World Cup starts last season and was crowned the overall ladies’ Nor-Am Cup slalom champion.

“We have two new podium athletes on the women’s side so it’s important to keep the momentum going,” Kristofic said of Mielzynski and Gagnon. “For them, as well as Ben Thomsen on the men’s side, it’s the first time they are going into major events as podium contenders. It’s great timing to have a big event like the world championships this year so they can learn to deal with that kind of pressure before Sochi 2014.”

The 2012-13 FIS World Cup season is due to get underway in Sölden, Austria, at the end of October. The 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are due to be in held in Schladming from Feb. 4-17, 2013.

Men’s Canadian Alpine Ski Team:
(Athlete, Hometown, Ski Club)

Philip Brown, Toronto, Ont., Craigleith
Dustin Cook, Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que. , Mont-Sainte-Marie
Julien Cousineau, Lachute, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Robbie Dixon, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Erik Guay, Mont-Tremblant, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Jan Hudec, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Michael Janyk, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
John Kucera, Calgary, Alta., Calgary Alpine Racing Club
Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Trevor Philp, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Conrad Pridy, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club
Morgan Pridy, Whistler, B.C., Whistler Mountain Ski Club

Erik Read, Calgary, Alta., Banff Alpine Racers
Jean-Philippe Roy, Ste-Flavie, Que., Mont-Comi
Brad Spence, Calgary, Alta., NATC/Panorama Ski Club
Ben Thomsen, Invermere, B.C., Windermere Valley Ski Club
Andy Trow, Canmore, Alta., Sunshine Ski Club
Trevor White, Calgary, Alta., NATC/Fortress Alpine Ski Team
Sasha Zaitsoff, Queens Bay, B.C., Red Mountain Racers

Ladies’ Canadian Alpine Ski Team:
(Athlete, Hometown, Ski Club)

Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Lac-Etchemin, Que., Mont-Orignal
Madison Irwin, Toronto, Ont., Craigleith
Madison McLeish, Whistler, B.C., Alberta Ski Academy
Erin Mielzynski, Guelph, Ont., Georgian Peaks
Brittany Phelan, Mont-Tremblant, Que., Mont-Tremblant
Marie-Pier Préfontaine, Saint-Sauveur, Que., Mont Saint-Sauveur
Ève Routhier, Sherbrooke, Que., Mont-Orford
Elli Terwiel, Heffley Creek, B.C., Sun Peaks Alpine Club
Kelly VanderBeek, Kitchener, Ont., Chicopee
Larisa Yurkiw, Owen Sound, Ont., Georgian Peaks

Alpine Canada Alpin is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.

Keith Bradford
Director, Communications | Directeur des Communications
Alpine Canada Alpin
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