How well do you know some of Team Canada’s winter sport athletes?
As we bundle up for the upcoming winter season, let’s take the time to know who Team Canada athletes are outside of the field of play. Are they songwriters in their spare time? Cooking up new recipes in the kitchen? Or maybe they have another interesting hobby?
Every Friday, we’ll be adding a new athlete to this list that you can follow on social media. If you do, in no time you’ll be an expert on Canadian athletes and ready to cheer them on as they compete on the international stage during the upcoming months.
Son of one of Canada’s most famed alpine skiers, Crazy Canuck Ken Read, it is no surprise that Erik joined the world of skiing at age two and entered his first race at age six. Erik achieved his own career highlight during his FIS World Championship debut in 2015. He was a member of the underdog Canadian squad that defeated some of the most skilled skiers in the world to win silver in the team event!
In his Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018, Erik was the top-ranked Canadian in the men’s giant slalom, finishing 11th. He made his World Cup debut in January 2011 in Schladming, Switzerland and will be kicking off the 2020-2021 World Cup season on October 18th in Sölden, Austria. His interests outside of skiing include hiking and mountain biking.
Joining the sport at age three, Dahria Beatty is no stranger to the world of cross-country skiing. Beatty has been representing Canada internationally since 2009-10. During that season she competed in the first of her three world junior championships. She made her World Cup debut on home snow in Canmore in December 2010 but began competing regularly on the circuit in January 2016. Beatty posted her career-best individual result – a 15th place finish in the sprint – in March 2016 during the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore.
Beatty raced in five events in her Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018, and hopes to represent Canada at Beijing 2022. Her interests outside of sport include; baking, painting landscapes, and playing with her dogs.
Beginning his snowboarding journey at age four, Eliot Grondin began competing on the Nor-AM Cup circuit at 15 years old. He recorded his first podium finish in February 2017, and just over a week later, he finished seventh at the world junior championships. Grondin made his Olympic debut at 16 years old, where he was the youngest man on Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018.
Grondin was set to make his World Cup debut in March 2017 in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. However, on the morning of the qualification round, he had a season-ending crash in training and broke his forearm. Six months later, he made his return to competition at the World Cup in Cerro Catedral, Argentina joining the World Cup circuit full-time. Last season he won his first-career World Cup medal in Canada at Big White. His interests outside of snowboarding include mountain biking, skateboarding, BMX, as well as building and riding his own snowboard tracks!
Follow this winter athlete on Instagram.
As a freshman in 2015, Laurence St-Germain finished 10th in the slalom at the NCAA Championships to be named a Second Team All-American. In November of that same year, she made her World Cup debut in Colorado, finishing top-30 in the slalom event. Two years later, St-Germain posted a career-best World Cup result when she placed 14th in the slalom in Vermont.
She joined the National Alpine Ski Team for the 2015-16 season after finishing the previous season ranked fourth in the Nor-Am Cup slalom standings. She finished both 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons ranked second in the Nor-Am Cup slalom standings. St-Germain made her Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 where she finished 15th in the slalom event and ninth in the mixed team event. For the 2020-21 season, St-Germain’s goal is to consistently finish in the top 10 at World Cups. At her first World Cup of the season, she finished sixth and eighth in both slalom races, keeping her on track with her goal for this season.
Tristan Walker began sliding at age ten after his parents signed him up for ski jumping, biathlon, and luge camps at Canada Olympic Park. Ultimately he chose luge because of the sport’s speed. Walker made his Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010 with partner Justin Snith. At 18-years-old, they were two of the youngest members of the Canadian Olympic Team. In January 2014 Walker and Snith earned Canada’s first-ever World Cup podium in doubles, winning bronze in Königssee, Germany. The pair also helped Canada win relay bronze medals at the 2015 and 2016 World Championships.
While participating in their third Olympic Games, Walker and Snith slid the anchor of the luge team relay at PyeongChang 2018, securing the silver medal for Canada. Wondering how doubles luge works? In this partnership, Walker lies on top and does most of the steering as Snith uses his shoulders to smooth out the sled on corners. Tristan Walker’s interests outside of his sport include: playing guitar, writing music, working and riding on motorcycles, and skiing.
Marielle Thompson began skiing at age two, began ski racing at age 11, and started ski cross at age 16. It comes as no surprise that this Team Canada athlete has been one of the world’s biggest ski cross stars since her World Cup debut in December 2010. At just 19 years old, Thompson earned her first World Cup gold medal in 2012. She ended that season with a total of six World Cup podiums, including three victories, to give her the overall World Cup title in women’s ski cross. She made history that season as the first Canadian ski cross racer to win a Crystal Globe. Since then she has now won the Crystal Globe two additional times.
During her Olympic debut, Thompson made it one to remember, winning the women’s ski cross gold medal at Sochi 2014. This win was part of three double podiums for Canada in Sochi. Thompson represented Canada once again at PyeongChang 2018, posting the fastest time in the Olympic qualification round. Most recently, Marielle Thompson kicked off the 2020-21 season by winning the silver medal at the first ski cross World Cup. Thompson’s interests outside of ski cross include cross-country biking and hiking.
Check back here every Friday for a new Team Canada athlete taking the winter season by storm.