Four men and four women were nominated to represent Canada in ski cross at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.
Canada’s ski cross team will be a force to be reckoned with at PyeongChang 2018, after earning the most World Cup points by a nation in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. They’ve added multiple podium finishes this season.
The women’s team will be led by Marielle Thompson, who heads to PyeongChang as the reigning Olympic champion. She’ll get the chance to defend her gold medal after rupturing her ACL and MCL during training in October 2017 and undergoing surgery and rehab, but is yet to compete this season.
The past two weeks have flown by. I crashed in training in Saas Fee and was assessed at the hospital in Switzerland, flew home a day later for an MRI and further testing, results came in and it turned out being what the doctors and my physio suspected (ruptured ACL & MCL), took a few days figuring out a plan, had surgery and my surgeon said it went very well, and now I’ve started my recovery at the gym! A BIG thanks to everyone who played a role in these past few weeks and to the people who sent me messages of encouragement! Another thanks goes to my amazing sponsors @cibcnow, @stoeckli_1935, @blizeyewear, @audicanada, @leki.ski.outdoor, & @dalbellosports! — #MySeason #TeamStoeckli #StandforCanada
Also returning is Kelsey Serwa, who stood beside Thompson on the podium at Sochi 2014 with a silver medal. Serwa has come back from multiple injuries in her career, most recently in December 2016 when she damaged the cartilage in her knee. She’s resurged in the current ski cross season by winning bronze at the World Cup season opener in December for her 19th career World Cup podium. She finished fourth this past weekend in Nakiska.
Brittany Phelan will make her Olympic ski cross debut at PyeongChang 2018 after competing at Sochi 2014 as an alpine skier. She became a fulltime World Cup ski cross competitor in 2016-17, finishing the season ranked 10th in the World Cup standings. This past December, Phelan earned her first World Cup podium finish in Arosa, Switzerland.
Rounding out the women’s team is Olympic rookie India Sherret, who was the world junior champion in 2015. She earned her first World Cup podium earlier this month in Sweden, winning bronze in Idre Fjall.
No words for how I'm feeling in this moment! Today was amazing and I'm so excited to take my first World Cup podium with a 3rd place! Thank you to all the amazing people that have helped me get to where I am today, family, friends, community, teammates, and of course coaches; I wouldn't be here without you all. ❤ Another race tomorrow and then back home for the World Cup at @nakiskaskiarea!! 📸@gepapictures . . . #skicross #worldcup #podium #third #sohappy #sweden #idrefjäll
Three-sport Olympian Georgia Simmerling was expected to join the ski cross team for PyeongChang 2018, but suffered an unfortunate accident on Saturday when a rough landing at the World Cup in Nakiska resulted in two broken legs, requiring surgery.
“Unfortunately, I got injured at a pretty disappointing time in my season,” Simmerling said. “I’m already wrapping my head around rehab, and going to tackle that like I take on anything: determined, with a little stubbornness and a lot of positivity. I know my Canada Ski Cross team will do me, and our entire country proud. I will be breaking TVs cheering for them at home.”
Heading up the men’s team is Chris Del Bosco, who has competed in ski cross at each Olympic Winter Games since the event’s introduction at Vancouver 2010. Ahead of his third Olympic appearance, he earned his 10th World Cup victory and 26th podium at December’s season opener in Val Thorens, France.
Brady Leman is also returning after barely missing the podium at Sochi 2014 where he finished fourth. Since then, he’s enjoyed some of his greatest success: winning gold at the 2016 X Games and finishing second overall in the 2016-17 World Cup standings.
“This will be my second Winter Olympics and I feel just as excited and just as proud to represent Canada as I did the first time. I can’t wait to compete for our country,” said Leman. “I’m proud of what myself and the team have accomplished and I know we are heading into the Games with tons of talent and great medal potential.”
The team will also have the veteran experience of Dave Duncan, who has seven career World Cup podiums including two victories. The sole rookie on the men’s team is Kevin Drury. He ended the 2016-17 season ranked eighth in the ski cross World Cup standings, making him the number two Canadian man. Drury earned his first World Cup podium in December 2017 by finishing second in Arosa, Switzerland. He just missed another with his fourth-place finish on Saturday in Nakiska.
Ski cross will take place February 21-23 (Days 12-14) at the Phoenix Snow Park.