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5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: February 23-25 ​​- Team Canada

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: February 23-25 ​​- Team Canada

Tomas Skrjj/COC, API/Oksana Dzadan, ISA/Pablo Jimenez

There's a lot to look forward to for Team Canada's athletes this weekend, including chances to get closer to the 2024 Paris qualifiers for surfers and trampoline riders.

Bobsleigh and skeleton athletes from Team Canada will chase the podium at the 2024 IBSF World Championships in Germany, while Canadian rugby athletes will perform for a home crowd at the SVNS Series stop in Vancouver, and cross-country athletes look to continue their success at the World Cup in Austria.

Here's what you don't want to miss this weekend:

Football

There too Canadian stop in the SVNS series It takes place in Vancouver this weekend. This is the second year in a row that the event will feature simultaneous men's and women's tournaments, meaning 24 teams (12 men, 12 women) from around the world will play a total of 64 matches over the three days.

Team Canada's women will play in a group with Great Britain, France and Spain, while the men will play in a group with Argentina, Fiji and Spain. The Canadian teams will play their first matches on Friday afternoon, with the women playing France and the men playing Argentina. The group stage continues until Saturday, which will also witness the start of the knockout rounds. The tournaments will conclude on Sunday

The Canadian teams last competed at the SVNS Series stop in Perth, Australia in late January, with the women finishing seventh and the men 12th.

The Canadian women qualified for Paris 2024 in August at the Rugby Americas North Sevens tournament in Langford, British Columbia, after an impressive 53-0 win over Team Mexico to win the tournament. The men's team will play in qualifying for the Olympic Games in Monaco in June.

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Bobsleigh and skeleton

Team Canada's athletes will participate in the 2024 IBSF World Championships, held in Winterberg, Germany. There will be some events taking place this weekend before the competition wraps up next weekend.

After the first two rounds of the women's skeleton on Thursday, 19-year-old Haley Clarke maintained the lead. She won the U20 Junior World title on the same track last year. The final two rounds will be held on Friday.

Two-time Olympian Jeanne Chanel finished seventh at the midpoint of the event. She had a strong performance last weekend in Altenburg, where she and Blake Enzi finished fifth, just 0.03 of a second off the podium, in the mixed team event. This event will be new to the Olympic program for the Milan Cortina 2026 Olympics. The world championship race will be held on Saturday.

Mirela Rahneva sits ninth in the middle of the women's skeleton. The two-time Olympian claimed victory at the World Cup in Sigulda earlier this month. Last weekend he finished just 0.01 away from the podium at the World Cup in Altenburg, Germany.

On the bobsleigh side, this weekend features the women's singles bobsled and men's events. Cynthia Appiah placed fifth last weekend in the monopop race.

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The ISA World Surfing Games will be held from February 23 to March 3 in La Marginal – Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Canada will be represented by six surfers, including Olympic-bound Sanoa Dimpfel-Ohlin, who provisionally qualified for Paris 2024 at the 2023 Pan American Games Santiago with a silver medal. Competitors at the World Surfing Games meet the final criteria to confirm their qualification.

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Her older sister, Mathia Dempfel-Ohlin, who won a bronze medal for Team Canada in Lima 2019 in the longboard event, will also represent Team Canada. The same goes for Cody Young, who is just one win away from qualifying for the medal round at the Santiago 2023 Games.

Another athlete to look out for is 16-year-old Erin Brooks. Last June, Brooks won shortboard silver at the 2023 World Surfing Games in El Senegal, El Salvador. She was unable to compete in the Pan Am Games because she did not yet hold a Canadian passport. Brooks obtained her Canadian citizenship last January and is seeking one of the last tickets to travel to Paris.

The ISA World Surfing Games will be the last chance for surfers to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. There are eight places available for women and six for men.

Cross skiing

There's a FIS Ski Cross World Cup stop in Retralm, Austria this weekend and the Canadian team will be looking to make their presence felt on the podium.

Marielle Thompson, winner of the last three women's races, will look to continue her success. She is currently in first place in the overall World Cup standings with four wins and a runner-up finish.

Hannah Schmidt is third overall, having won three times and finished third twice in the 2023-24 season. Brittany Phelan sits fourth in the season standings thanks to four podium finishes.

Reece Howden currently sits second in the men's overall classification, having won twice to take second place. Jared Schmidt, who has won three times so far during the campaign, is in fifth place.

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Both men and women will compete on Saturday, followed by a similar program on Sunday.

Trampoline

Six Canadian trampoline athletes will participate in the FIG Trampoline World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, this weekend. This is the penultimate opportunity to earn points towards the Olympic Qualifications Ranking, which will conclude after the World Cup Finals in Cottbus, Germany at the end of March.

Rachel Tam, Gabriella Flynn, Sofiane Methot and Sarah Millet will take part in the women's singles event, while Keegan Sohn and Remi Aubin will take part in the men's singles event.

In the women's synchro event, which is not on the Olympic programme, Tam will team up with Flynn and Methot will team up with Millet. Soehn and Aubin will compete together in the men's synchro.

The qualifying rounds will be held on Friday and Saturday, while the individual and synchronized finals will be held on Sunday.

So far, Canada has earned one spot in the Olympic quota for the women's individual event thanks to Methot's fifth-place finish at the 2023 World Championships. With five spots allocated to each gender at worlds, there are still 11 additional spots in each event available, most of which must be determined by Olympic qualifications ranking that calculates an athlete's best two results in five World Cup finals between February 2023 and March 2024.

Millet is currently ranked 11th, while Tam is 14th in the women's Olympic qualifying rankings. Eupen is also 20th in the men's rankings.

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