Darren Gardner finished the 2016-17 season as the top-ranked Canadian man in the World Cup parallel snowboard standings with his career-high ranking of 27th. He had made his World Cup debut in January 2010, becoming a more regular presence on the circuit beginning with the 2011-12 season. He posted a career-best result of 12th place in the parallel giant slalom in Asahikawa, Japan in February 2015.
Gardner has enjoyed some of his greatest successes on the Nor-Am Cup circuit, winning the overall parallel snowboard title three times in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2015-16. During the latter season, he reached the podium in all eight races he entered, including three victories. Gardner had been named to the national development team in 2008 before joining the national team in 2010. He competed at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships, highlighted by a fourth-place finish in parallel slalom at the latter. He made the first of his back-to-back world championship appearances in 2015, the same year he competed at the Winter Universiade where he finished ninth in parallel giant slalom. At the end of the 2014-15 season, Gardner broke his ankle. He made the decision he would persevere through it in pursuit of his Olympic dream.
A little more about Darren…
Getting into the Sport: His first memory of snowboarding is trying to snowboard on his toboggan… Actually started snowboarding at age 4 and racing at age 8… His father taught him using ski boots in a freestyle snowboard setup because snowboard boots small enough to fit didn’t exist… Grew up snowboarding in Holimont in Western New York… Outside Interests: Studying towards a Bachelor of Srts and Sciences at Quest University… Outdoorsman who enjoys wakeboarding, mountain biking, surfing, golfing and sometimes skateboarding… Odds and Ends: Had just started competing in snowboard when Ross Rebagliati won gold at Nagano 1998, sparking his own Olympic dream… Favourite quote: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammed Ali…
Notable International Results
FIS World Championships: 2017 – 24th (PGS), 21st (PSL); 2015 – 21st (PGS), 33rd (PSL)
Winter Universiade: 2015 – 9th (PGS)