Road To The Olympic Games

Canada's Lewis Irving named FIS freestyle rookie of year for aerials

Lewis Irving of Quebec City was named the FIS freestyle rookie of the year in aerials for the 2015-16 World Cup season.

Quebec City native reached 4 World Cup final rounds

Canada's Lewis Irving was named the FIS freestyle rookie of the year for male aerialists for the 2015-16 season, finishing in the Top 12 in all four World Cup events he entered. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Lewis Irving of Quebec City was named the FIS freestyle rookie of the year in aerials for the 2015-16 World Cup season.

The 20-year-old reached the finals in all four World Cup events with four top 12 finishes. Irving opened the season with seventh and 11th place finishes in Beijing and added fourth and eighth place results from World Cup competitions in Deer Valley, Utah.

"I'm thrilled with how my season went and how consistent my jumping was all year, " Irving said. "That's what I tried to focus on this year. I wanted to be on top of my game at each World Cup knowing that I would only do four and it worked out really well for me. It was the perfect type of season to lead into Olympic qualifying next year."

Irving was slowly introduced to the high performance program by his coaches to gain experience in international events and to use NorAm events to work on his degree of difficulty.

He incorporated triples into his routine last summer for the first time on water and attempted them on snow for the first time at a training camp in Ruka, Finland.

"It's one thing to do triples in a training environment and another to do them in competition, " said Dennis Capicik, head coach of the national team. "He's definitely moving forward quicker than anticipated and that's a good thing. It's an honour and a great motivating tool for him to win this award."

"My connection with my coaches helped me out," Irving said. "Being around guys like Travis [Gerrits] and Olivier [Rochon] pushes me to go harder. Those guys are two of the best jumpers on the planet. Having them to look up to makes a huge difference."

Gerrits, from Milton, Ont. was the last Canadian male aerialist to win the rookie award in 2011.

With files from Canadian Freestyle Ski Association

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