Kingsbury, Dufour-Lapointes headline Canada's Olympic freestyle skiing team
22 athletes to compete in moguls, aerials, halfpipe, slopestyle
Moguls star Mikael Kingsbury will have his chance to capture elusive Olympic gold, while Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Dara Howell will look to defend their freestlyle skiing titles at the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Team Canada on Monday named 22 athletes in Montreal who will compete in the moguls, aerials, halfpipe and slopestyle events.
"It's definitely a dream of mine to win an Olympic gold medal, but I'm not approaching the Games with that goal in mind," Kingsbury, who earned silver in Sochi behind gold-winning teammate Alex Bilodeau, said in a news release. "Rather, I'm showing up at the Games with the intent to ski my best, follow my plan and not get too wrapped up in things I cannot control.
"If I do the job like I've done in the last few World Cups, then I'll be happy. I know if I do my job the judges will have no choice but to give me good scores."
Are you ready Canada? We've got the announcement that you've been waiting for! We are beyond stoked to introduce our official Freestyle Winter Olympic team who will proudly represent <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamCanada</a> in <a href="https://twitter.com/pyeongchang2018?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@pyeongchang2018</a>! Let's see your Canadian pride! <a href="https://t.co/JQKpYe3cjJ">pic.twitter.com/JQKpYe3cjJ</a>—@canfreestyleski
Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, who won silver at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and first-time Olympian Andi Naude were also named to the moguls squad. The eldest Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, did not make the Olympic team.
The Dufour-Lapointes had an emotional week in which they revealed that their sub-par performances this season may, in part, stemmed from concern over their mother Johane's battle with cancer. She has been in remission since August.
Just clearing the air helped, said Justine.
"We were all a bit emotionally affected by what happened the last year and keeping it inside was kind of heavy on our hearts, so we were ready to get all this heaviness out of our system — to be free to go to Pyeongchang," she said. "One step toward that was to say it out loud, then we're free to ski with all our potential and talent."
Cassie Sharpe, a halfpipe specialist, is in the middle of a dominant season, with two World Cup golds so far as well as a first-place performance at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., in December.
"I want to go to the Olympic Games and enjoy the environment, to be there with Canada, my family and friends and use this as an opportunity to show what I am capable of," Sharpe said.
Aerials skier Olivier Rochon will make his Olympic debut in South Korea after missing the Sochi Games due to an injury. Travis Gerrits withdrew from the Olympic qualification process last week and "anticipates devoting the next few months to rehabilitation," Freestyle Canada said last week.
Joining Howell on the slopestyle team is Kim Lamarre, who earned Olympic bronze four years ago. The Games run from Feb. 9-25.
Here are the full rosters for Canada's Olympic moguls, aerials, halfpipe and slopestyle skiing teams:
- Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal)
- Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal)
- Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, Que.)
- Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, Que.)
- Philippe Marquis (Quebec City)
- Andi Naude (Penticton, B.C.)
- Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City)
- Lewis Irving (Quebec City)
- Catrine Lavallée (Montreal)
- Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, Que.)
- Simon d'Artois (Whistler, B.C.)
- Noah Bowman (Calgary)
- Rosalind Groenewoud (Calgary)
- Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, Alta.)
- Cassie Sharpe (Comox, B.C.)
- Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Quebec City)
- Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, Que.)
- Teal Harle (Campbell River, B.C.)
- Dara Howell (Huntsville, Ont.)
- Evan McEachran (Oakville, Ont.)
- Kim Lamarre (Lac Beauport, Que.)
- Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, B.C.)
With files from The Canadian Press