Canada's Mike Robertson takes silver in men's snowboardcross
Markus Schairer of Austria and Lindsey Jacobellis of the U.S. won gold medals Friday at an FIS World Cup snowboardcross event at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver.
Mike Robertson, of Canmore, Alta., placed second behind Schairer in the men's event with Seth Westcott of the U.S. taking third and Francois Boivin of Jonquiere, Que., placing fourth.
Olivia Nobs of Switzerland was second in the women's competition with Helene Olafsen of Norway placing third and Maelle Ricker of Squamish, B.C., in fourth.
The competition began with 32 men qualifying for final, divided into eight foursomes. The top two in each advance through heats until four are left.
Nine Canadians were among the 32 male qualifiers while two Canadian women advanced to the final 16.
The World Cup event at Cypress is considered a tune-up for participants, who will use the same course for the 2010 Olympics a year from now.
"The final was great and I had a very good start and I was in the lead since the top," said Schairer.
"I was a little bit afraid that somebody could pass me but as I passed the finish line I saw that they are far behind me.
"It's amazing to win the first World Cup," he said after some earlier top five finishes.
Jacobellis, who has nine World Cup gold medals dating back to 2007, was thrilled with the course.
She said the twisting, steeply banked run was "one of the best courses I've ridden all year and it flowed really nice that I did so well."
She appeared to not be intimidated by the Olympics.
"I treat the Olympics like any other race. It's the same women that I'm racing against so as far as I'm concerned it's just another race but more people are watching."
Ricker, who finished fourth in the final, has four previous World Cup wins. She also placed fourth in snowboardcross at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
She got off to a bad start and then ran into Nobs.
"I tried to play catchup but I didn't do it. It was a really good race with excellent women in the final."
Robertson, who fell in the semifinal but was fortunate because the other three competitors also went down, said he simply "got up and kept going."
"When you crash usually everyone just flies by but they all decided to do the same," he said.
"(In the final) I missed my start and Markus was just gone so fast and then Frank (Boivin) decided to crash and I made it through on my feet thankfully."