Once again Canada Ski Cross ends up on-top, capturing the Nations Cup and making them the most dominant team on the FIS Freestyle Ski Cross World Cup circuit. The team secured personal-bests, first-time World Cup podiums, Nor-Am Cup titles and Olympic medals, continuing show that Canada Ski Cross has a deep pool of talent that is continuing to make Canada a leader in the sport.
Brady Leman (Calgary, Alta.) and Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.) came away from the season as the 2018 Olympic Ski Cross Champions, claiming gold for Canada. Leman was the first Canadian male to win an Olympic ski cross medal since the sports debut in Vancouver in 2010 and Serwa brought home the ladies’ gold for the third consecutive Olympics. Ashleigh McIvor brought home gold in 2010 and Marielle Thompson won gold in 2014. Serwa finished with a silver medal in 2014 and now has two Olympic medals to her name, along with 19 World Cup podiums, a World Championship title and an X-Games gold medal.
One of the biggest stars on the 2017-18 Canada Ski Cross team was named last year’s FIS Freestyle Rookie of the Year. After only just three years on the team, Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.) captured a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and secured her first ever World Cup podiums. At 27-years-old, Phelan had her best season ever, finishing with three World Cup podiums, including back-to-back second-place finishes in the last races of the season in Sunny Valley, RUS. Phelan closed out the season ranked third overall on the World Cup circuit.
29-year-old Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.) also had his best season ever, contributing heavily towards the team winning the Nations Cup. Drury achieved his career-first World Cup podium this season and followed it up with two more, including a win in the final race of the season. He closed out the World Cup season ranked third overall in a tight race for the Overall Crystal Globe. Drury was just seven points behind the leader, narrowly missing out on the overall title. At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Drury put down some incredible skiing, just missing out on a podium with a fourth-place finish.
India Sherret (Cranbook, B.C.) had a breakout season this year. The 21-year-old is a member of the Next Gen team but secured her start in World Cup races after winning the 2017 Overall Nor-Am Cup title. Sherret closed out the season as the 2018 FIS Freestyle Rookie of the Year, setting her up for great things to come next season. She started in her first World Cup race last year, and showed consistent improvements in the 2017-18 season. She secured a career-first podium (third-place) in Idre Fjall, SWE, which qualified her for the 2018 Olympic Team.
The country’s only three-time Olympian in three different sports, Georgia Simmerling (West Vancouver, B.C.) started off the season with high hopes for capturing a Winter Olympic medal to go along with her track cycling bronze medal from the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Simmerling started the season out strong, capturing two podiums and four top-five finishes in the five races before Christmas. In the second half of the season, Simmerling continued her charge towards success until a crash on home snow at the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Nakiska Ski Area, Alta., took her out of the running for the remainder of the season. Simmerling has been dedicating the last few months to her rehabilitation and you can follow along with her recovery journey here.
Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, Que.), one of Canada’s most legendary ski cross athletes, won the first World Cup race of the season in Val Thorens, FRA. On home snow in January, for the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Nakiska Ski Area, Alta., he finished in sixth-place. Del Bosco competed in his third Olympic Winter Games this season where unfortunatley a massive crash resulted in season-ending injuries. Del Bosco has already returned to the gym in preparation for next season. You can follow his return to snow efforts here.
Continuing the streak of personal-best results for the Canada Ski Cross Team, Mathieu Leduc (Comox, B.C.) made the big finals for the first time in his career in Montafon, AUT, finishing in fourth-place. Previously, his personal-best result had been a seventh-place finish in 2015.
35-year-old Dave Duncan (London, Ont.) achieved a season-best sixth-place World Cup finish and an eighth-place finish at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
This was Kris Mahler’s (Markham, Ont.), return to snow season after a season ending crash last year. In 2017-18, he raced on the World Cup and Nor-Am Cup circuits, achieving four top-ten results on the Nor-Am Cup circuit. On the World Cup circuit, Mahler finished the season with a 28th-place personal-best result.
Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) suffered a knee injury during a fall training camp, which took her out of the running all season. She returned to race mode just in time for the 2018 Olympics, where she had her first race of the season. After putting down the fastest qualifying time of all competitors and setting Thompson up for a storybook ending, an unfortunate tangle with another athlete caused her to miss out on competing for a medal. Thompson has spent the past few months diligently rehabbing her knee and plans to return to spring and summer camps ready to race.
Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) and Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C.) won the Overall Cup Nor-Am Titles this season. Winning the title means both athletes have earned starts in every World Cup race next season. Gairns had her World Cup debut at the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Nakiska Ski Area, Alta., in January where she finished with an incredibly sixth-place finish.