Final Day in Freestyle Sees Dual Mogul Battles

Well the weather wasn’t great (but three out of four really ain’t bad) but the competition was awesome. 

In our time here we have experienced a ton of snow, ridiculous winds, cold temperatures, beautiful blue bird sky sunshine, more snow, freezing rain and rain, and probably a couple of cats and dogs thrown in the mix.  But it’s all good!  

Today was our Finale – Dual Moguls Day and, as expected, as we got closer to the end of the event and closer to the podium the athletes kept flying higher and faster with each and every run they went in. 

On the Women’s side BC’s Andi Naude got her second gold medal of the Games after having won the Single Moguls the day before.  Andi was strong consistent from the beginning of the event she actually seemed to get her biggest challenge in her duel with team mate Yuki Tsubota.  The final round had her lined up against Quebec’s Myriam Leclerc.  Andi was taking no prisoners and just flew out the gate; Myriam put up a valiant fight but she had a bit of a stumble in the middle of the course which threw her across the mid line control gates – for which she received no score for her run. 

The Women’s bronze medal round was another BC vs. Quebec fight but this time QC vanquished with Katrine Bazinet narrowly beating out Yuki Tsubota. 

On the Men’s side there was some interesting drama in the Quarter final when Hugo Blanchette and Kerrian Chunlaud (both from Quebec) had a seldom seen dead heat in terms of their differential time (the time between the first and second athlete crossing the finish line – in this case there was no difference!)  And the crowd went nuts for both this and the fact that it took about 18 seconds for both of them to go from top to bottom (a full second faster than the fastest recorded time in Single Moguls). 

The Final worked its way down to Quebec’s (Single Mogul Gold Medalist) Simon Lemieux and Ontario’s Zac Hoffman.  Their run had them going so fast that their clothes were starting to come off in the slipstream, and after some amazing turns and just crazy airs later Simon mirrored Andi Naude’s acheivement and came away with his second gold medal of the Games.  The bronze medal round featured Hugo Blanchette and Alberta’s Austin Hunter for a very tight duel that found Hugo on the podium. 

It was a GREATevent that seemed to be enjoyed by all who witnessed it. 

Women’s 

1) Andi Naude,  BC
2) Myriam Leclerc, QC
3) Katrine Bazinet, NS 

Men’s  
1) Simon Lemieux, QC
2) Zac Hoffman, ON
3) Hugo Blanchette, QC  

And that’s it for us! 

The Organizing Crew and the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association wish to thank the Wilson family and all those at Wentworth, and everyone in Nova Scotia Freestyle who helped us put on a great show for the teams, specatators and sponsors.  Wentworth and Nova Scotia now have some great legacy sites and equipment and we all look forward to seeing the next generation of great athletes coming out of the Maritimes. 

We would also like to thank the Canada Games Council and the Host Society of the Halifax 2011 Canada Winter Games and all of their partners, sponsors and suppliers for their belief in us, we hope we did you proud and we wish you all the best for Week 2. 

See you in Prince George, B.C. in 2015!!

Quebec Takes Four Medals in Moguls at 2011 Canada Games

The fun just keeps going!

Single Moguls Day at the Games was spectacular!  The sun came out for Finals, the tunes were pumping and the skiers were flying down 180 metres of mogul strewn mayhem.  It ended up being a four medal day for Quebec but it was not without a fight.

We had 19 Women and 31 Men in the today’s event.  The top 16 athletes from the Qualification round moved on to the Final and what a Final it was!

The favourite coming into Single Moguls Day was Quebec,  they are usually a dominant force in this event, and today was to exception.  It was looking like a possible sweep for the Women with three Quebec girls sitting on the potential podium with only one skier, BC’s Andi Naude, left to go.   The three Quebec girls had all stepped it up for the Final and had put down some SOLID runs, so everyone was thinking the pressure on Naude must have been nuts but she blew out of the gate like she had a jet engine strapped on her back and simply had the run of the day!  The fastest time, the best turns and the best jumps, taking the gold by almost 1.5 points.   Given the strength and performances of the Quebec Team, everyone was in shock but Andi, who looked proud and confident!  What a great run and what a great event!

On the Men’s side it was an air show that Wentworth won’t soon forget.  There were two big highlights: the first was Simon Boileau from Quebec who made my eyes pop when he almost landed a 1080 (three spins) off the top air, he just went huge, landed past the chop and unfortunately lost a ski upon landing.  He skied the rest of the course on one ski  – this is allowed but his medals hopes were over.  The second highlight was Simon Lemieux who won by putting down a run reminiscent of Olympic Gold medalist Alex.  His turns were awesome and he threw down a straight back full (back layout flip with a full twist) off the top air and a D Spin 1080 (off-axis flip with two twists) off the bottom.  Hugo Blanchette who was in the lead after the Qualifications, and last out of the gate in the Final, stumbled a bit on his top air which put him out of contention for the podium.

It was a great performance by all of the teams and another great day for the Yukon with Anatole Tuzlak being the first ever from Y Territory to make it to the Final in Single Moguls!

Women’s

1)      Andi Naude, BC                                24.42

2)      Katrine Bazinet, QC                         23.14

3)      Julie Bureau, QC                               23.09

Men’s 

1)      Simon Lemieux, QC                         24.14

2)      Kerrian Chunlaud, QC                     23.59

3)      Luke Ulsifer, AB                                23.11

One more day (Friday Feb. 18th ) to go with Dual Moguls set to be underway at 12:30 PM.  Head to head action straight down Idiot’s Way at Wentworth.   DON’T MISS IT!

Freestyle Preview

All teams trained today amid a construction frenzy at Ski Wentworth site of the 2011 Canada Winter Games Freestyle ski events.

Sound and timing systems were being set up and tested; scaffolding was being erected for the Bell Aliant webcast team who will be live streaming the events, and banner crews were running around, all in preparation for our first event, Half Pipe, set to roll on Sunday starting at 11AM.

The favoured teams in the Pipe event are BC, Ontario and Quebec all of whom are ready to primed to kicks each other’s butts for Flag points.

Athletes to watch for:

Hunter Visser from Penticton, BC who won the Junior National Half Pipe Championship in 2009

Alberta’s Garret Northey who came second in the 2010 Senior National Pipe Championship

Looking forward to seeing everyone out at Wentworth tomorrow!

It’s way better watching it live and in your face but, if you can’t make it, check out Bell Aliant live stream:  http://canadagames.bellaliant.net/  

Next events

Single Moguls    Tuesday Feb 15

Air                          Wednesday Feb 16

Dual Moguls       Thursday Feb 17