The Canadian Olympic Committee and Alpine Canada recently announced the official athletes and coaches that will be representing Team Canada in ski cross at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Skiers were selected based on their performances during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 FIS World Cup seasons.
This year, Cranbrook native India Sherret will be representing Women’s Ski Cross, and Kimberley native Stanley Hayer will be the head coach.
Hayer competed with the Canadian Alpine Team during the 90’s, before moving to the Czech Republic to ski with their team and compete for them at the 2002 Olympic games. He won silver at the Czech nationals and went on to win a silver in the 2007 FIS World Championships. Hayer also won silver at the 2008 X-Games, followed by a gold win at the 2009 Winter X-Games.
Hayer moved back to the Canadian ski cross team and competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver for freestyle skiing in men’s ski cross, placing 10th.
According to Alpine Canada, ski cross was first introduced as an Olympic sport at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Prior to the Olympics, ski cross established itself as a popular sport thanks to events such as the X-Games.
“While ski cross is still young, Canada has a rich history of success in the sport,” said the Alpine Canada website. “Since 2009, Canada has been viewed as one of the strongest ski ross nations in the world, racking up 137 World Cup medals, six World Championship medals, 15 X-Games medals and three Olympic medals.
“Course building is a type of art and always keeps the athletes on their toes. World Cup courses typically feature a combination of big jumps, small jumps, rollers and bank turns. In 2015 FIS also introduced a sprint race format, which is a short course offering multiple jump/roller lines for athletes to choose from.”
In terms of the format, for World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic races athletes compete in a time trial qualification round, where skiers race solo (as opposed to the other races where they face off head to head). Based on their qualification times, athletes are placed into different heats of four. The top two from each heat then advance to the finals.
Ski Cross will take place February 21-23 at the Phoenix Snow Park as part of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The Phoenix Snow Park has a spectator seating of 18,000 and will feature 18 different events including freestyle skiing (aerials, moguls, ski cross, halfpipe and slopenstyle) and snowboarding (parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, snowboard cross and slopestyle).