Freestyle skiing: Michael Kingsbury’s well in the saddle
The country’s greatest hope for a gold medal was at the Winter Games, as Michael Kingsbury began his Olympic season as Emperors atop the podium in Rocca. He achieved his best performance in Saturday’s Super Final to claim his 66th World Cup victory, as well as a 94th place on the podium.
The two-time world champion returned last winter to the Finnish throne, an event he holds dearly and marked by his absence in 2020, due to a serious back injury he sustained during training before the opening calendar. Victory under the sign of redemption.
Having dominated like never before during nine campaigns, the 29-year-old wants to win back the crystal ball for the discipline she lost to Australian Matt Graham. His now well-healed T4 and T5 fractures deprived him of several starts and, eventually, important points in the standings.
The foundations for the restoration are now laid for the King of the Mountains, who is also eyeing a second Olympic coronation out of the corner of his eye, as did his predecessor Alexandre Bellodo at the Vancouver and Sochi Games.
Long track: Laurent Dubreuil on a roll
Laurent Dubreuil continued his happy streak at the World Cup in Salt Lake City. He achieved two more podiums in the 500m to bring his total to six since the start of the season. Both races in which he participated ended at this distance on the grandstand.
As of Friday, the Quebec skater marked his first Utah bronze medal after the best time of his career (34 seconds 99/1000). He himself could not believe that his streak of success continued like this, synonymous with consistency, and he was not at the end of his surprises.
His best lasted only two days as he lowered his mark to 34.053 seconds on Sunday to take his third place on the 2002 Olympic circuit, a towering ice known for its speed.
His compatriot Ivani Blondin is not excluded. Ottavienne narrowly won the group start, after checking the photo at the finish line, the day after another victory with teammates Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann in the team quest.
Good luck gave the Canadian woman a big helping hand, as she headed for the cash until one of the Japanese figure skaters fell off on the last lap. Blondin and Maltes Weidmann are unbeaten in two races this fall, starring right from the start in mid-November at Tomaso Mazowiecki in Poland.
The Calgary episode will be the setting for the fourth leg of the season. Canadian skaters will perform at their facilities from December 10-12 in what will be the last World Cup finals before the Olympics.
Alpine skiing: Broderick Thompson starts the counters
Apron No. 35, Broderick Thompson sparked a panic Thursday at Beaver Creek with his third-fastest time in a Super G and his first World Cup podium, seven years after his debut at the Great White Circus.
Long after the usual podium riders finished their touchdown – the first 20 poles – the 27-year-old British Columbian slid down the third runway, much to his surprise.
Thompson had broken into the top 15 only once in a World Cup before finishing third in Colorado. It was ranked eighth in 2017 in Bormio, Italy.
While Sofia Jogia was dotting the Lake Louise resort, amassing a trio from Friday through Sunday on the Alberta slopes, local favorite Marie-Michel Gagnon wrapped up the week in front of her local crowd with 9th on the second slope. Super G.
Prior to the Italian achievement, only two skaters had won these three races at one World Cup in Lake Louise, American Lindsey Vonn (2011, 2012 and 2015) and Germany’s Katja Siesinger (1997).
bobsleigh: Cynthia Appiah, Argent, Christine de Bruyne, bronze
Ontarian Cynthia Appiah clinched her first World Cup medal as a driver on Saturday in Altenburg. She rushed down the German track in a monobob and was only hit by Kylie Humphreys.
Humphreys’ victory came the day after he was granted US citizenship, which would allow him to represent the United States at the Beijing Olympics and possibly add to a solid record.
The three-time medalist and two-time Olympic bobsleigh champion in the Canadian jersey cut ties with her former federation in 2018, after filing a harassment complaint against the national team coach.
No two without three have happened to Christine De Bruyne and Kristen Bojnowski in the two-man bobsleigh. The duo shared a third place finish this season, and now have three podiums because of the consistency De Bruyne has shown. Humphreys took home the honors again, this time in the company of Kaysha Love.
Paranordik Skiing: Brian McKeever et Natalie Wilkie font coup double
Of the eight medals won in two days last weekend at the World Cup in Canmore, half came from cross-country skiers Brian McIver and Natalie Wilkie, each of whom won twice in Alberta.
With the help of guide Graham Nishikawa, McIver won the 7.5 and 12.5 km distances for the visually impaired, while Wilkie victorious in the 7.5 and 10 km. She shared her first win with her compatriot Brittany Hodak, equally On the top.
Hodak returned to the attack by finishing second at the longest distance. Canadians Mark Arends (3rd in the visually impaired 7.5km) and Colin Cameron (3rd in the 10km) did well at home.
Cross-country skiers take advantage of a day off on Mondays in Canmore and will white-collar Tuesdays with a few sprint runs offered.
Canadian Olympic Team Forms
The Canadian team heading to China officially welcomed its first athlete after the national curling trials at the end of November. Newfoundlander Brad Gushue and Manitoban Jennifer Jones won their own championships in Saskatoon.
Sixteen years after covering himself with the gold medal in Turin, the first time Canadian footballers have met at the Winter Games, Guccio is back on the Olympic stage in Beijing, along with Brett Gallant, Mark Nichols, Jeff Walker and another soon-to-be-named athlete. Only Nichols was in The Italian Adventure in 2006.
Prior to Pyeongchang in 2018 (Kevin Koe 4th, Rachel Homan 6th), the Canadians had never been left off the podium since curling returned to the Nagano Games in 1998.
Jennifer Jones, like her compatriot, will return to the Winter Games as the former Olympic champion in Sochi.
Round 11 was needed in the final of the National Trials before the Olympic reflectors turned again to Jones, who will accompany to Beijing her teammates Caitlin Loews, Don McEwen, Jocelyn Peterman and Lisa Weigl. Note that Lawes and McEwen got a taste of intoxication with their Olympic coronation in 2014.
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