Feature photo: Lewis Irving competes at the FIS World Cup in Park City, Utah in February (Chad Buchholz/FIS)
Lewis Irving capped off his first World Cup season, by winning the prestigious FIS Rookie of the Year Award for male aerialists.
The Québec City native made four World Cup appearances this season, qualifying for the final each time. Irving opened with a seventh and 11 place finish in Beijing, before posting his best result of fourth in Park City, Utah. After just missing the podium, the Canadian rounded off his successful 2015-16 World Cup season with an eighth place finish.
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That moment when your first Full Full Full on snow is captured on camera! Way to go @lewisirving7! Lewis and the rest of the aerial team will be competing in a World Cup in China this weekend. /// Moment inoubliable où le premier Full Full Full est capté par caméra! Bravo Lewis Irving! Lewis et le reste de l’équipe canadienne de sauts seront de la compétition à la Coupe du monde de Chine ce week-end.
“I’m thrilled with how my season went and how consistent my jumping was all year,” Irving told the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. “That’s what we really tried to focus on this year. I wanted to be on top of my game at each World Cup knowing that I would only do four and it worked out really well for me.”
Irving’s season was limited to four World Cup events in order to slowly introduce him to the full time circuit, while giving him international competition experience. The Canadian was ranked sixth before pulling out of the tour, despite only competing in four events he placed 12 overall, one spot behind Olympian Travis Gerrits.
“It was the perfect type of season to lead into Olympic qualifying next year. It’s a great stepping-stone for me.” Said Irving.
Irving’s strong season will make him one to watch with less than two years to PyeongChang 2018. The last Canadian aerialist to win the FIS Rookie of the Year award was Gerrits in 2011, he went on to represent Canada at Sochi 2014.