4 Canadian freestyle skiers retire ahead of season
Chelsea Henitiuk, Beatrice Bilodeau, Remi Belanger, Jon Vellner all call it quits
Freestyle skiers Chelsea Henitiuk, Beatrice Bilodeau, Remi Belanger and Jon Vellner retired Wednesday ahead of the start of the competitive season.
Henitiuk, a 25-year-old moguls specialist from Spruce Grove, Alta., competed in 43 World Cup events in her 10 years on the national team, posting nine top-10 finishes. She reached the podium at NorAm events seven times, winning four gold medals.
Bilodeau, a 20-year-old from Rosemere, Que., and the younger sister of Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau, competed in 11 World Cup competitions and earned three NorAm gold medals.
Belanger and Vellner were both recruited as part of the Jump 2010 program that encouraged trampolinists and gymnasts to try aerial skiing. Belanger, an international-level trampolinist before moving to freestyle, had 15 World Cup aerial starts and earned nine NorAm medals including four golds.
Vellner, also a former trampolinist, participated in nine World Cups and earned five NorAm medals.
"As an elite-level athlete, you learn so much about who you are and develop many skills that will help you succeed in life," Canadian Freestyle Ski Association high performance director David Mirota said in a statement. "I am persuaded that Beatrice, Chelsea, Remi and Jon will benefit from those acquired skills in pursuit of new goals."