Canada's alpine ski team named for 2016-17 season
Key team veteran, the 2014 Olympic bronze medallist in super G, fails to make the cut after injury
Veteran skiers Erik Guay, Manny Osborne-Paradis, Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski headline Alpine Canada's newly released roster for the 2016-17 season.
But three key names from previous seasons are off the list: 2014 Olympic bronze medallist Jan Hudec, Marie-Pier Préfontaine and Larisa Yurkiw.
"Jan Hudec failed to meet the set out standards to be named to the team," Alpine Canada Alpin said in a statement to CBC Sports. "Under coach's discretion, Jan was selected to the team, subject to further physical, health and World Cup performance parameters laid out by Alpine Canada Alpin to ensure his health, performance and ACA resources were allocated effectively.
"Jan declined to agree nor adhere to the set out requirements, therefore declining his spot on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team at this time."
Hudec, who raced both downhill and super G, did not finish the one World Cup race he competed in last year. Hudec, 34, spent most of 2015 on the injured list after undergoing surgery on his knee in January. He said then he intended to return for the 2016-17 season.
Another skier who sat out last season with injury, Dustin Cook, will return.
Prefontaine, 27, struggled in giant slalom and super G last season. In 89 World Cup starts since 2006, her best finish was a sixth in GS.
Yurkiw's absence was no surprise. After her best season ever, she unexpectedly announced her retirement on May 11. The 28-year-old won a pair of silver medals and a bronze in last year's World Cup circuit, but decided her knees could not take another season on the hills.
Notably missing from the para-alpine team is sit-skier Kimberly Joines, who won 44 World Cup medals after 13 years with Team Canada. She retired on May 6.
Three rookies made the cut for the alpine team: Jack Crawford of Toronto, Erik Read of Calgary, and North Vancouver's Brodie Seger. Alexis Guimond, of Gatineau, Que., and Alex Cairns, of Squamish, B.C., are new to the para-alpine team.
"The 2016-17 Canadian alpine ski team is a mix of veteran athletes like Erik Guay, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski who bring experience and success to the team, along with young athletes who are the future of ski racing in Canada," said Martin Rufener, athletic director of Alpine Canada. "Young stars, like Jack Crawford and Valérie Grenier, have proved their potential on international circuits this year.
"With mentorship from the veteran athletes and our world-class coaching staff, Alpine Canada Alpin athletes will be looking for podium results this year as we head into a World Championship season."
Each of the 34 members on the alpine, para-alpine and ski cross teams "has demonstrated tremendous dedication, perseverance and talent," said Mark Rubinstein, the president and CEO of Alpine Canada. "I'm confident that the best is yet to come."