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Foot of snow causes cancellation of super G event at Whistler Cup

Foot of snow causes cancellation of super G event at Whistler Cup{mosimage}WHISTLER VILLAGE (BC), April 1, 2005 Today, more than 150 K2 athletes
(13-14 years old) and 100 volunteers fell under the spell of April Fools’
Day as a thick fog, heavy winds, and a foot of fresh snow forced the cancellation of the first Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup race. Despite the course workers’ efforts to push away the snow, the race jury’s positivism, and the ski racing Gods’ willingness to showcase tomorrow’s champions on Blackomb’s Gandy Dancer piste, an official decision to cancel the race due to safety was made shortly after lunch time.

Visibly disappointed about not having the opportunity to compete in North America’s premier juvenile Super G competition, racers from 17 countries skied back to their rooms, determined to put on an exciting show over the next two days.

‘I really wished we could have raced today’ exclaimed Andy Trow from Alberta who took part in the « IRIS Clear vision to the top – Team Canada selection camp » in preparation for the 2005 Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup.
‘The IRIS camp had a positive impact on my preparation because during those three training days, I got to know this race hill. I now know the hill very well and I also know my peers much better. I look forward to showing my skills in the giant slalom race!’ said the young racer.

Stephanie Irwin, also from Alberta, was disappointed about not getting a chance break the ice in today’s super G race: ‘I prefer slalom and giant slalom races so it would have been nice to get the butterflies out of my stomach before tomorrow’s slalom race!’ she admitted. ‘I still maximized my time on the slopes today as I did some great powder skiing!’ exclaimed Irwin who is taking part in the Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup for the second time in her young career.

‘The course looked fun and nice’ admitted Robby Kelley from Starkboro (VT) and representing Team USA. ‘It’s never fun when you have to wait around and hope the race will happen. But it’s all part of our sport! The good side of it is that I had the chance to meet skiers from other countries. It is my first time taking part in such an international race and I’m looking forward to seeing where I rank up in tomorrow’s slalom’ concluded Kelley who grew up in a strong ski-racing family, with cousins and siblings competing internationally.

Jun Matsuo, who traveled from Asia to coach 10 Japanese athletes aspiring to join their respective National Team said: ‘It’s too bad the race didn’t take place. My 10 athletes were disappointed about not racing today because this is their first time on such a long hill! It is also their first time racing against athletes from several other countries. Fortunately, our strongest discipline is slalom and we are looking forward to that event’ he concluded.

Despite the threats of prevailing snow and rain precipitations overnight, the race organizing committee is confident that tomorrow’s events will run smoothly. Saturday makes way for the first set of technical races. While the
K1 (11-12 years old) will race in a giant slalom, the K2 (13-14 years old) will compete in a slalom.

Modeled after the Trofeo Topolino alpine ski races in Italy, where the top juvenile ski racers in the world have competed for over 40 years, The Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup has already become the pre-eminent North American event on the international juvenile ski-racing calendar. Nearly all current Alpine Ski team members; 30 out of an eligible 32, have roots in Whistler Cup competition, proving it to be an important stepping-stone in the development of young Canadian racers. Past Whistler Cup participants include Benjamin Raich, Tina Maze, Sarah Schleper, Karen Putzer, Anja Paerson, Nicole Hosp and Canadians Jeff Hume, Allison Forsyth, Britt Janyk, Erik Guay, Genevieve Simard and Emily Brydon to name a few.

The Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup is sanctioned by the international ski federation (FIS) and organized by the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, which has been in existence for over three decades. The club is dedicated to the development of young ski racers in all Alpine events. For more information and for live timing, visit www.whistlercup.com.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2005 SIERRA WIRELESS WHISTLER CUP

Saturday, April 2, 2005
9:45 a.m. – K1 Giant slalom (on Gandy Dancer)
9:45 a.m. – K2 Slalom (on Upper Cruiser)

Sunday, April 3, 2005
10 a.m. K1 Slalom (on Upper Cruiser)
10 a.m. K2 Giant slalom (on Gandy Dancer)

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