Weekend Roundup: Crawford & Alexander lead the way with big breakthroughs at alpine skiing worlds
Team Canada athletes were standing on podiums all over the world this weekend.
In France, Jack Crawford and Cameron Alexander were the talk of the men’s speed events at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Elsewhere in Europe, Canadian speed skaters were in top form in both long track and short track. And in Colorado, Keegan Messing achieved a career first in his last competitive performance on North American ice.
Keep reading for a look at what you might have missed
Alpine Skiing: Crawford speeds to gold, Alexander has a debut to remember
It was a two-medal weekend for Team Canada at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel Meribel, France.
Jack Crawford was the fastest man on a fast super-G course on Thursday. He won the gold medal by just 0.01 of a second to become only the third Canadian man to win a world title in alpine skiing.
“I’ve been dreamed of standing at the top of a World Cup podium for a long time,” said Crawford. “It feels incredible to make it there at a world championships. We had a good plan and I felt confident this morning. It took some of my best skiing on a line that was a little more risky but it panned out today and it was just enough to win. The best ski racers in the world are here and I’m happy to on their level today.”
Two other Canadians were in the top 11, as Brodie Seger placed ninth and Jeffrey Read was 11th.
On Sunday, making his world championship debut, Cameron Alexander captured bronze in the men’s downhill. He came in with just one World Cup podium to his credit, a downhill victory last March. As the 20th man down the course, he pushed teammate Crawford off the podium. The world champion in the super-G would finish fifth, finishing 0.12 of a second back of Alexander.
After winning the medal, Alexander shouted out his teammate Crawford saying, “Jack’s gold in the super-G gave us all confidence.”
Figure Skating: Messing at his best as Canada wins four medals at Four Continents Championships
Keegan Messing is taking home his first international championship medal after winning silver at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs.
Ready to retire at the end of the season, Messing scored a career-best 188.87 points in the free skate and 275.57 total as he created one of the highlight moments of the event heading into the world championships next month.
Adding to the Canadian medal haul were Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps, who captured bronze in pairs. They finished one spot ahead of another Canadian team, Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud, who were competing in their first ISU Championship event less than a year into their partnership.
Canada took two of the podium spots in ice dance. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen won the silver medal on the strength of personal best scores in both the rhythm dance and free dance. Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha delivered a PB in the free dance to help them secure the bronze.
Freestyle Skiing: Kingsbury clinches crystal globe, first World Cup podium for Viel
Two Canadians shared the dual moguls podium on Saturday at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy.
Mikaël Kingsbury captured the silver medal and Julien Viel earned the bronze for his first career World Cup podium.
In the big final, Kingsbury was defeated by his Japanese rival Ikuma Horishima. The second place finish was enough to lock up the overall moguls crystal globe for the 30-year-old Canadian. If you’re keeping count, that is the 23rd World Cup season title for Kingsbury, which saw him overtake Conny Kissling, a Swiss skier of the 1980s and 1990s, for most career FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup titles in history.
Long Track Speed Skating: Blondin and team pursuit keep winning
The Canadian team showed little rust as the ISU World Cup circuit resumed in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. In the women’s team pursuit, Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais secured their third gold medal in as many races. The reigning Olympic champions secured their fourth straight overall World Cup title in the event.
Laurent Dubreuil claimed silver in the men’s 500m for his fifth consecutive podium finish in the event this season, putting him atop the overall World Cup standings in the distance. He missed the gold by just 0.09 of a second.
On Sunday, Blondin won the silver medal in the women’s mass start, as she was unable to catch Dutch skater Marijke Groenewoud in the final sprint. With four medals in the event this season, Blondin is ranked second in the World Cup standings heading into the final stop this coming weekend.
There were also a few notable near podiums. In the men’s 1000m, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu was just 0.06 of a second away from his second World Cup medal as he finished fourth. On Friday, Connor Howe placed fourth in the men’s 1500m, missing the podium by 0.19 of a second. Weidemann was fifth in the women’s 3000m. Howe, Gélinas-Beaulieu, and Hayden Mayeur placed fourth in the men’s team pursuit.
Short Track Speed Skating: 9 medals for Team Canada in the Netherlands
Four medals on Saturday and five more on Sunday made for a very successful conclusion to the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating season for Team Canada in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Kim Boutin claimed gold in the women’s 1000m while teammate Danaé Blais placed fourth. Steven Dubois matched Boutin’s golden result in the men’s 1000m. He was joined on the podium by silver medallist teammate Pascal Dion. In the 2000m mixed relay final, William Dandjinou, Rikki Doak, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Courtney Sarault won the silver medal.
In the second women’s 1000m of the weekend, Sarault won her own gold medal on Sunday. That helped her to finish second in the overall World Cup classification. Boutin and Doak both stood on the podium in the women’s 500m, winning silver and bronze, respectively. Dion added another silver in the second men’s 1000m.
To cap it all off, Sarault, Boutin, Doak and Renee Marie Steenge won the gold medal in the women’s 3000m relay. All together, Canada won 37 World Cup medals this season, the country’s biggest total since 2015-16. It’s all good preparation for the world championships which take place next month.
Snowboard: Two double podiums for Team Canada in Calgary
Did anyone order a double-double? On Sunday, Darcy Sharpe earned his first ever World Cup slopestyle victory, taking the gold medal with 88.85 points. On the podium with him was fellow Canadian Cameron Spalding who placed third with 77.33 points.
On the women’s side, Laurie Blouin claimed slopestyle silver with a score of 76.41 points, putting her just 0.20 of a point ahead of countrywoman Jasmine Baird who took bronze. American Julia Marino won the gold medal with 78.36 points. Juliette Pelchat and Emeraude Maheux also made the final, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.
At the last halfpipe event of the FIS Snowboard World Cup season, Elizabeth Hosking scored 86.00 points to take the silver medal. That was her second podium of the season, securing second place in the overall World Cup halfpipe standings. Brooke d’Hondt came within 0.25 of a point of her first career podium as she finished a career-best fourth.
Bobsleigh: Appiah slides to monobob bronze in Austria
Cynthia Appiah raced to the bronze medal in the women’s monobob event on Saturday at the IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. Sitting in sixth position after her first run, she put down the fastest second run time of 54.63 to move onto the podium.
Skeleton: Rahneva narrowly misses World Cup podium
Mirela Rahneva posted her third straight fourth-place finish on the IBSF World Cup circuit, missing the podium by just 0.02 of a second in Innsbruck, Austria. At the first World Cup following her bronze medal at the IBSF World Championships she tied with Austria’s Janine Flock as they both posted two-run times of 1:46.70. Rahneva currently sits third in the overall World Cup standings.
Ski Jumping: More top ten finishes for Loutitt and Strate
Alexandria Loutitt and Abigail Strate were both in the top 10 on Friday at the FIS World Cup stop in Hinzenbach, Germany. Loutitt placed fifth in the normal hill event while Strate was 10th. Loutitt came 3.6 points shy of the podium in her return to the World Cup circuit after winning the world junior championship last week in Whistler. On Saturday, Loutitt cracked the top 10 once again.