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Proven veterans, exciting newcomers complete Sochi snowboard team

Proven veterans, exciting newcomers complete Sochi snowboard team

By Asif Hossain

The remaining 19 coveted spots for Sochi 2014 from Canada Snowboard were filled on Tuesday morning in Québec City. Canada earned the maximum 24 spots for Sochi. Five athletes were already named on January 3.

Alpine

Jasey-Jay Anderson will defend his Vancouver 2010 gold medal in the men’s parallel giant slalom. The 38-year old will be going to an incredible fifth Olympic Winter Games.  Michael Lambert and Matt Morison also received their Team Canada nominations on Tuesday, both heading to their second Olympics.

Jasey-Jay Anderson after striking gold in Vancouver.

Jasey-Jay Anderson after striking gold in Vancouver.

The women’s Alpine team includes Caroline Calvé, who is heading to the Olympics for a second time. Calvé most recently won a parallel slalom World Cup event on December 14 in Italy. Ariane Lavigne and Marianne Leeson were nominated to their first Olympic Winter Games. Lavigne has won a World Cup bronze medal on the Sochi course.

Caroline Calve styles her Olympic outfit from The Hudson's Bay Co.

Caroline Calvé styles her Olympic outfit from The Hudson’s Bay Co.

A Day in the Life of Caroline Calvé

Snowboard cross

Turin 2006 bronze medallist Dominique Maltais will be going to her third Olympics to compete in the women’s boardercross. Her national teammate and reigning Olympic champion Maëlle Ricker was one of the early nominees, giving Canada a potential 1-2 scenario. Maltais currently leads the overall women’s World Cup standings in this discipline.

Maltais dominates in Andorra

Dominique Maltais tops World Cup overall standings in snowboard cross.

Dominique Maltais tops World Cup overall standings in snowboard cross.

Rob Fagan, Kevin Hill and Jake Holden will compete in the men’s snowboard cross. They join Chris Robanske in Sochi. Hill and Robanske are top 10 in the world for points. Fagan finished fifth at Vancouver 2010, while Hill, Holden and Robanske will make their Olympic debuts.

Slopestyle

The addition of snowboard slopestyle has Canadians excited with good reason. Medal favourites Mark McMorris and Sebastien Toutant were already named to the competition in early January.  On Tuesday, Maxence Parrot and Charles Reid officially booked their ticket to Russia. McMorris and Toutant are X Games gold medallists, while Parrot currently leads the FIS points standings.

#WeAreWinter: Mark McMorris’ Olympic journey

Maxence Parrot celebrates after winning World Cup gold in Stoneham over the weekend.

Maxence Parrot celebrates after winning World Cup gold in Stoneham over the weekend.

In the women’s division Jenna Blasman was named to Team Canada, she joins Spencer O’Brien at the Olympics. Blasman dislocated her wrist in competition over the weekend in Stoneham, Québec and will likely compete wearing a cast. Blasman’s accident happened at the same venue where O’Brien won gold at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships in 2013.

Halfpipe

Mercedes Nicoll, Alex Duckworth and Katie Tsuyuki will carry Canada in the women’s halfpipe. For Nicoll, Sochi will mark her third Olympics. She was sixth in Vancouver.

Mercedes Nicoll

Mercedes Nicoll competing at Vancouver 2010.

Brad Martin will also be making his third Olympic appearance in Sochi. Crispin Lipscomb returns to the Olympics after first taking part in Turin. Derek Livingston completes the men’s team.

In a mixed selection of veterans and relative newcomers, Duckworth, Tsuvuki and Livingston will enjoy their first Olympic halfpipe experience.

Full roster: Sochi 2014 Snowboard team

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By Asif Hossain

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