AP Photo/Darko Bandic - AP Photo/Giovanni Maria Pizzato - AP Photo/Darko Bandic
AP Photo/Darko Bandic - AP Photo/Giovanni Maria Pizzato - AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Weekend Roundup: Grenier wins World Cup giant slalom in Slovenia again

For many of Team Canada’s athletes competing on the world stage, the first week of January marked their return to competition after a brief holiday break. The weekend was headlined by skiing of several kinds — alpine, cross-country, and ski jumping.

Here’s what you may have missed this weekend:

Alpine Skiing: Valérie Grenier defends Kranjska Gora title

Canada’s Valérie Grenier skied to the second FIS World Cup win of her career on Saturday, capturing the top spot in the women’s giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. 

READ: Valérie Grenier skis to World Cup gold in Slovenia for first win of the season

One year less a day after her first World Cup victory, the 27-year-old earned another win on the same slope, finding her way onto the podium for the first time in a season in which she had posted two top-five finishes — including a fourth-place finish just nine days earlier.

Grenier shared the podium with Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, who finished second, and World Cup giant slalom overall leader, Federica Brignone, who rounded out the top three. Grenier’s win vaulted her into fourth in the overall World Cup giant slalom standings. 

“I’m so extremely happy and proud, I don’t really have words,” Grenier said. “I’ve been close to the podium so many times this season it feels great to stand on it today. Coming off last season’s win here, I felt a little more pressure this morning. I had a big mistake in the first run, and I was very determined in the second run to really go for it, so it’s very rewarding to get the win.”

Ski Jumping: Abigail Strate win 3 World Cup medals in 5 days

In case you missed it, Abigail Strate claimed her third consecutive FIS Ski Jumping World Cup podium on Wednesday in Villach, Austria. During the women’s normal hill event, Strate’s two jumps of 91.0m earned her a total of 233.6 points and the bronze medal.

READ: Abigail Strate continues podium streak at Ski Jumping World Cup in Villach

The Canadian started 2024 in style by taking second place in the women’s large hill event in Oberstdorf, Germany on New Year’s Day. Strate jumped 131m in the first round, followed by 128.5m in the second round. Two days earlier, she won the bronze medal in the large hill event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

The 22-year-old Canadian now has a total of four World Cup podiums in her career. She sits seventh in this season’s overall World Cup standings, just three spots back of teammate Alexandria Loutitt.

Cross-Country Skiing: Banner weekend for Antoine Cyr to close Tour de Ski

The final stop on the FIS Tour de Ski took place in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Antoine Cyr finished 12th overall in the tour which is modelled after the format of cycling’s Tour de France, with athletes competing in stages and the leading skier wearing a distinctive jersey.

Val di Fiemme is the traditional last stop of the seven-stage tour, featuring the legendary “final climb” in which the cross-country skiers race up the alpine skiing course. Cyr distinguished himself with a 14th-place finish in that 10km free mass start race on Sunday.

Cyr had risen up the standings following his seventh-place finish in Thursday’s classic pursuit in Davos, Switzerland. That is his best result so far this season and pushed him into the top 10 of the Tour de Ski heading into the weekend.

Fellow Canadian Olivier Léveillé, also a Beijing 2022 Olympian, finished 45th in the stage and 45th overall in the Tour.