Platter named new head coach for Canadian women's world cup speed team


Platter named new head coach for Canadian women’s world cup speed teamCALGARY (Alberta), May 3, 2005 – Max Gartner, Chief Athletic Officer for Alpine Canada Alpin, announced today that former Italian ski team athlete and renowned World Cup coach, Heinzpeter Platter, will bring his enthusiasm and hunger for success to the women of Canada’s World Cup speed team this Olympic season.

“Our entire team is excited about having Heinzpeter on board for the 2006 Olympic season and beyond,” exclaimed Gartner. “Our women’s speed team has great potential and we are always looking for innovative ways to unleash that talent. Heinzpeter’s experience and drive, complemented with our current staff’s knowledge, will be instrumental in ensuring that our women’s team is in the lead by 2010 and beyond,” he concluded.

Platter, 38, was born in Schlanders (Italy) and retired from World Cup
competition in 1994 after earning a career best 13th place on the World Cup circuit in slalom in 1990. Building on his successful racing career, Platter joined Italy’s coaching staff to assist both women’s and men’s speed and technical teams for three years. He then spent five years coaching Sweden’s Alpine ski team where he worked closely with Pernilla Wiberg and Anja Paerson in their World Cup ascents. Platter returned to his homeland to coach Italian skiing sensation and seven-time World Cup gold medalist, Karen Putzer, in preparation for the 2002 Olympics. Over the past two years, Platter has worked as head coach of the women’s Italian speed team.

In joining the women’s Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Platter will assume the position of head coach for the women’s speed team. Working under the direction of the women’s head coach, Hugues Ansermoz, Platter will work closely with speed coaches Piotr Jelen, who is entering his 23rd year with the team, and Rob Boyd, who recently completed his first year as a member of the coaching staff for the women’s downhill and super G team.

“We were looking for someone with a great technical eye and with an ability to work well with our strong team of athletes and coaches and that is exactly what we have found,” explained Ansermoz who sees Heinzpeter as bringing a wealth of experience to the World Cup speed team. “The fact that Heinzpeter chose to leave the Italian team in this Olympic year to join the Canadians says a lot about his sensitivity to Canada’s great potential,” added Ansermoz.

“I look forward to working with the Canadian women on the long term as we build a winning team for 2010,” said Platter. “Speed events (downhill and super G) are becoming more and more technical. I am excited at the prospect of sharing my experience and technical skills with this women’s team in the hope of bringing more success to this talented team. I am also happy to be in Canada, where I will improve my English and immerse my self in a new culture,” concluded Platter who speaks Italian, German, Swedish, and English and whose wife and two sons will be based in Italy throughout the winter.

Platter takes over a team filled with explosive potential, including Emily Brydon, whose 2004-05 World Cup ranking is third in the combined event and 12th in the downhill. Brydon is joined by veteran Mélanie Turgeon, winner of the 2003 World Championship downhill title in St. Moritz, and talented Geneviève Simard, winner of the Cortina super G in 2004. The team also
includes Kelly Vanderbeek from Ontario, a two-time bronze medalist in super G at the World Junior Championships in 2003 and a 7th place finisher in super-G at the World Cup in St. Moritz this past season.

Platter’s first on-snow camp with the women’s speed team will be at the end of July in Zermatt (SUI). Until then, both the men’s and women’s team will be involved in intense physical training in preparation for the 2005-06 Olympic season.

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