World freestyle skiing superstars lead Canada to Sochi

World freestyle skiing superstars lead Canada to Sochi

By Asif Hossain

The Canadian Olympic Team grew significantly on Monday when 20 freestyle skiers were added to the roster for Sochi 2014 in Montreal.

Many of the skiers are among the best in the world in their discipline and fans will be expecting a healthy medal haul from this group.

UPDATE: Thursday, January 23, 2014

An injury to Megan Gunning opened up a spot on the freestyle skiing team, allowing moguls athlete Philippe Marquis to earn a place at Sochi. Details: Marquis going to Sochi

Moguls

Current Olympic champion in men’s moguls, Alex Bilodeau, is back to defend his title. Prior to the official announcement Bilodeau had won three consecutive World Cup moguls events and took the lead in overall standings this season. His national teammate and reigning overall world champion Mikaël Kingsbury is second in the standings. Marc-Antoine Gagnon fills out the men’s selection.

Teammates Alex Bilodeau (L) and Mikaël Kingsbury.

Teammates Alex Bilodeau (L) and Mikaël Kingsbury.

All three Dufour-Lapointe sisters – Maxime, Chloe and Justine – will take part in women’s moguls at Sochi. Justine and Chloe are second and third respectively in World Cup standings while Maxime is fifth. Audrey Robichaud rounds out the all-Québec moguls teams.

Slopestyle

Ranked second in the world, Dara Howell will be in Sochi as slopestyle makes its Olympic debut. Returning from a knee injury, Kaya Turski has made Team Canada. Turski is the 2013 world champion, where she edged Howell for the top step of the podium. Kim Lamarre and Yuki Tsubota bring Canada to four participants in women’s ski slopestyle.

Dara Howell

Dara Howell

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand will represent Canada in men’s slopestyle.

Halfpipe

Another Olympics freestyle first, halfpipe, will see three female and four male participants from Canada. An all-Albertan women’s team of Roz Groenewoud, Megan Gunning and Keltie Hansen will fly the Maple Leaf in the women’s competition.  Groenewoud won the 2011 world championship in halfpipe and won silver in women’s overall standings in the 2012-13 freestyle skiing World Cup.

The four men headed to sochi for halfpipe includes Mike Riddle, the overall men’s points leader from 2012-13. He is joined by Justin Dorey, winner of overall points title this season, with Riddle finishing third. Noah Bowman and Matt Margetts – both ranked in the top 10 – are also headed to Sochi.

Aerials

Travis Gerrits is the lone aerials competitor for Canada. He won a silver medal in the 2013 World Championships and according to fis-ski.com ranks fifth in World Cup standings heading into his official nomination.

Travis Gerrits

Travis Gerrits

Six more freestyle skiers will be added to Team Canada for ski cross on January 27 in Vancouver.

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By Asif Hossain

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