Proven veterans, exciting newcomers complete Sochi snowboard team
The remaining 19 coveted spots for Sochi 2014 from Canada Snowboard were filled on Tuesday morning in Québec City. Canada earned the maximum 24 spots for Sochi. Five athletes were already named on January 3.
Jasey-Jay Anderson will defend his Vancouver 2010 gold medal in the men’s parallel giant slalom. The 38-year old will be going to an incredible fifth Olympic Winter Games. Michael Lambert and Matt Morison also received their Team Canada nominations on Tuesday, both heading to their second Olympics.
The women’s Alpine team includes Caroline Calvé, who is heading to the Olympics for a second time. Calvé most recently won a parallel slalom World Cup event on December 14 in Italy. Ariane Lavigne and Marianne Leeson were nominated to their first Olympic Winter Games. Lavigne has won a World Cup bronze medal on the Sochi course.
Turin 2006 bronze medallist Dominique Maltais will be going to her third Olympics to compete in the women’s boardercross. Her national teammate and reigning Olympic champion Maëlle Ricker was one of the early nominees, giving Canada a potential 1-2 scenario. Maltais currently leads the overall women’s World Cup standings in this discipline.
Rob Fagan, Kevin Hill and Jake Holden will compete in the men’s snowboard cross. They join Chris Robanske in Sochi. Hill and Robanske are top 10 in the world for points. Fagan finished fifth at Vancouver 2010, while Hill, Holden and Robanske will make their Olympic debuts.
The addition of snowboard slopestyle has Canadians excited with good reason. Medal favourites Mark McMorris and Sebastien Toutant were already named to the competition in early January. On Tuesday, Maxence Parrot and Charles Reid officially booked their ticket to Russia. McMorris and Toutant are X Games gold medallists, while Parrot currently leads the FIS points standings.
In the women’s division Jenna Blasman was named to Team Canada, she joins Spencer O’Brien at the Olympics. Blasman dislocated her wrist in competition over the weekend in Stoneham, Québec and will likely compete wearing a cast. Blasman’s accident happened at the same venue where O’Brien won gold at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships in 2013.
In a mixed selection of veterans and relative newcomers, Duckworth, Tsuvuki and Livingston will enjoy their first Olympic halfpipe experience.