Harald Wisthaler, AP Photo/John Raoux, Mateusz Kielpinski (FIS)
Harald Wisthaler, AP Photo/John Raoux, Mateusz Kielpinski (FIS)

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: January 19-21

It’s a busy weekend for Team Canada athletes and fans, with opportunities to cheer on athletes as they compete at home and abroad.

On the home front, there are two FIS World Cups taking place on Canadian snow this weekend at Nakiska (ski cross) and Val St-Come (moguls). There are more Canadian freestyle skiers and snowboarders in action on the slopes of Laax, Switzerland at one of the premier World Cup events for slopestyle and halfpipe.

Canadian speed skaters will take on the ISU Four Continents Championships, while Brooke Henderson is part of the elite field of golfers at the opening event of the LPGA season, the Tournament of Champions.

Ski Cross

Nakiska, just outside Calgary, is set to host the first FIS Ski Cross World Cup of 2024 this weekend. The event will feature a new course, perhaps mitigating any hometown advantage for Team Canada but increasing the excitement level for all athletes.

Canadian fans will have lots to cheer for this weekend after some strong results in December. Jared Schmidt and Reece Howden (the defending men’s Crystal Globe champion) sit first and third in the men’s World Cup standings, while three Canadian women–Hannah Schmidt, Marielle Thompson and Brittany Phelan–are sitting within the top seven in the women’s standings.

Jared Schmidt has won three out of the five races so far this season. He is the only man to stand on a ski cross podium more than once this season. A particular highlight was the World Cup in Arosa, at which both Jared and his sister, Hannah, topped the podium on the same day.

Qualifying runs will take place on Thursday and Friday, followed by races on Saturday and Sunday.


Canadian moguls skiers will also have the chance to compete at home this weekend with a FIS Freestyle World Cup taking place at Val St-Come, north of Montreal. The event will feature both men’s and women’s moguls and double moguls, with the former taking place on Friday and the latter on Saturday.

All eyes will be on the King of Moguls, Mikaël Kingsbury. The 31-year-old has earned seven podium finishes so far this season, including four victories. He’ll look to add to his record 84 World Cup wins and 122 World Cup podiums.

On the women’s side, Maia Schwinghammer is one to look out for. The 22-year-old reached her first World Cup podium in December, finishing second in the dual moguls in Bakuriani.

Slopestyle and Halfpipe

The Laax Open in Switzerland is one of the annual highlights for slopestyle skiers and snowboarders and also features snowboard halfpipe.

On Wednesday, Laurie Blouin qualified for the final of the women’s snowboard slopestyle event, which takes place on Saturday. On the men’s side, Liam Brearley, Nicolas Laframboise, Cameron Spalding and Francis Jobin reached the snowboard slopestyle semifinals scheduled for Friday.

The snowboard halfpipe events have qualifying rounds on Friday. Brooke D’Hondt and Felicity Geremia will compete in the women’s event while Liam Gill and Kiran Pershad are in the men’s event. Both of those finals are scheduled for Saturday.

In freestyle skiing, Alexander Henderson, Mark Hendrickson and Max Moffatt have qualified for the semifinals of the men’s slopestyle event, which will take place on Friday. That final is scheduled for Sunday.

Long Track Speed Skating

A week before the first ISU World Cup of 2024 in Salt Lake City, Canadian speed skaters will get their bearings at the Utah Olympic Oval for the ISU Four Continents Championships. The Canadian contingent is made up of skaters active on the World Cup circuit this season as well as some next-gen athletes.

The competition will mark the return of Isabelle Weidemann, who skipped the last two World Cup stops of 2023 in order to focus on her preparation for the World Single Distances Championships, which will be held in Calgary in mid-February. The triple Olympic medallist will start the women’s 1500m on Friday and the women’s 3000m on Saturday, before joining her teammates in the women’s team pursuit, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais, on Sunday. Blondin will also take part in the women’s mass start on Sunday.

Laurent Dubreuil will be lining up in his two favourite events, the men’s 500m on Saturday and the men’s 1000m on Sunday. Long-distance specialist Ted-Jan Bloemen will be in action on Saturday in the men’s 5000m, along with 2020 World Championship medallist Graeme Fish. You can check out all of the Canadian entries in the Instagram post just above.

Canada will also be keeping an eye on the team sprint events on Friday, which are not on the Olympic program. The fifth leg of the 2023-24 World Cup will take place January 26-28 in Salt Lake City.


The LGPA Tournament of Champions teed off its 2024 edition on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. The lone Canadian in the elite field of 35 golfers is Brooke Henderson, who happens to be the defending champion.

Her win at the Tournament of Champions last year started 2023 off on a high for Henderson, but the ensuing months featured some tough ebbs and flows. She didn’t earn another top 10 until July when she finished second at the Evian Championship, one of the women’s majors. Henderson was able to finish the year strongly, teaming up with fellow Canadian Corey Conners for a second-place finish at the Grant Thornton Invitational, an event that brings together athletes from the PGA and LPGA Tours.

Henderson starts the season ranked 13th on the Women’s World Golf Rankings, which will be used in late June to determine who is qualified for Paris 2024.