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2014 Canadian National Freestyle Team unveiled

The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association has named 50 athletes to its roster for the 2014 season in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The team’s 20 women and 30 men represent a mix of veterans and new talent across the four freestyle disciplines that are under the CFSA umbrella: moguls, aerials, halfpipe and slopestyle.

“I am very confident in the talent and potential of this team,” said CFSA High Performance Program Director David Mirota. “Not only do we have very strong medal hopes in virtually every category for Sochi, but we also have a deep pool of athletes who have podium potential for 2018 and beyond.”

After a successful 2013 season, where the team won a combined nine FIS World Championship, 42 FIS World Cup and 11 Association of Freeskiing Professionals platinum-level medals, Mirota said the focus is now squarely on preparing for Sochi.

“We are in the final stretch and we need to keep this season’s momentum going. I expect our athletes and coaches to train harder and smarter than ever this summer and we as an association, with the support of Own the Podium, Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee, are going to pull out all the stops to make sure our team is as prepared as possible for the Games,” said Mirota.

Of the 26 possible Olympic freestyle berths, the CFSA has already awarded nine provisional spots based on results at specifically targeted events in 2013 season, like the Sochi test event and the World Championships.

Mirota said there were no big surprises in the athletes who made that group, which includes: Olympic and World Champion Alex Bilodeau (moguls), 2013 World Champion Mikael Kingsbury (moguls), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (moguls), Travis Gerrits (aerials), Mike Riddle (halfpipe), Rosalind Groenewoud (halfpipe), World Champion Kaya Turski (slopestyle), Dara Howell (slopestyle) and Marielle Thompson (ski cross, which is overseen by Alpine Canada).

However, with 17 spots still up for grabs, athletes hoping to reach their Olympic dreams will have to give it everything they’ve got in early-season competition in order to make it to the team before the January 20, 2014 deadline for team nomination.

At least two results from the coming season combined with a maximum of two results from last season will be totaled for each athlete in the CFSA’s ‘Method B’ selection protocol.

“With so many talented athletes across the board on our 2014 team and a first class coaching staff in place for every disciplin, it’s going to be a very tight race for those spots,” said Mirota, “It’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out.”

Also interesting to watch will be the popularity of freestyle two new Olympic events: halfpipe and slopestyle skiing, both of which are anticipated to be amongst the most highly watched events of the Games, and both of which where Canada has successfully developed strong programs.

Canadian National Freestyle Ski Team
Aerials                 
Travis Gerrits
Olivier Rochon
Jean-Christophe André
Veronika Bauer
Sabrina Guérin
Jonathan Vellner
Dave Blais
Marc-Antoine Labbé-Giguère
Melissa Corbo
                  
Halfpipe
Justin Dorey
Rosalind Groenewoud
Megan Gunning
Keltie Hansen
Mike Riddle
Kris Atkinson
Noah Bowman
Simon D’Artois
Matt Margetts
                  
Moguls                 
Alex Bilodeau
Chloé Dufour-Lapointe
Justine Dufour-Lapointe
Marc-Antoine Gagnon
Mikael Kingsbury
Philippe Marquis
Audrey Robichaud
Maxime Dufour-Lapointe
PO Gagné
Chelsea Henitiuk
Eddie Hicks
Andi Naude
Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh
Cédric Rochon
Hugo Blanchette
Kerrian Chunlaud 
Alex-Ann Gagnon
Christel Hamel
Clare Lambert 
Myriam Leclerc
Simon Lemieux
Kiera Leung
Luke Ulsifer
                  
Slopestyle                 
Alex Bellemare
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
Dara Howell
Yuki Tsubota
Kaya Turski
JF Houle
Jamieson Irvine
Evan McEachran
Noah Morrison

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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