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5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: March 22-24 – Team Canada

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: March 22-24 – Team Canada

Miha Matavs / Islamic Salvation Front, The Canadian Press / Jeff McIntosh, Darren Calabrese

There's plenty of excitement for Team Canada fans this weekend, including two World Championships and one World Cup Final to be played on the ice and snow.

The 2024 World Figure Skating Championships will be held in Montreal, while the Women's World Figure Skating Championships will be held in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The final stop will take place at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup circuit in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec.

Beyond Canadian borders, Team Canada athletes also compete in World Cup cross-country skiing in Edri Fjall, Sweden, and alpine skiing in Saalbach, Austria.

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

Snowboarding

Canada welcomes the world's best figure skating talent to Montreal for the 2024 ISU Figure Skating World Championships. Canada last hosted the World Championships in 2013, when it was held in London, Ontario.

Read: What to watch for when Montreal hosts the 2024 World Figure Skating Championships

Team Canada is represented by 15 skaters – three pairs, three ice dancing duos, two men's singles competitors and one women's singles competitor.

Diana Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps took first place after the pair's short program. They moved almost four points ahead of world champion Reiko Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan after setting a personal best in the short run. This free skate is on Thursday evening.

Also among the Canadian medal hopefuls are ice dancers Piper Gill and Paul Poirier, who already have two world championship medals to their name. The pair claimed bronze at last year's World Championships after a season that saw them take several months out of competition after Jill underwent surgery for stage one ovarian cancer. They will start their rhythmic dance competition on Friday.

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The window

Team Canada (Team Homan) is on a tear at the World Women's Curling Championship, being held in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The team consists of Skip Rachel Homan, Deputy Skip Tracy Flory, Sophomore Emma Mischio, Lead Sarah Wilkes, and Alternate Rachel Brown.

Team Canada knocked off the four-time defending champions Switzerland on Tuesday night, ending the latter's 42-game winning streak. The Canadians followed up with a win over Japan on Wednesday morning, making them the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament.

But the Canadians aren't finished yet. On Wednesday evening, Team Canada defeated Team Turkey with a decisive victory to win its eighth match in a row. The result guaranteed the Canadians a spot in the playoffs. With a top-six finish guaranteed, Homan's team is also guaranteed a spot in the four-player Canadian Curling Trials which will be held in November 2025 and will determine who will make Team Canada at Milano-Cortina 2026.

On Thursday morning, the Canadians beat Estonia for their ninth straight win. Canada will play New Zealand (1-7) on Thursday evening before facing Scotland (3-6) and Korea (6-2) on Friday. The semi-final matches will begin on Saturday, with the bronze and gold medal matches being held on Sunday.

Cross skiing

The final stage of the FIS Ski Cross World Cup will be held in Idre Fjäll, Sweden.

Marielle Thompson has her sights set on the Crystal Globe in the women's overall standings. This will be the fourth of her career, but her first since 2017. Having won five of the last seven races on the track, the 31-year-old, who has amassed 932 points, has a 72-point lead over her nearest rival. – Frenchman Marielle Berger Sabatiel. Canadian Brittany Phelan currently completes the top three with 774 points, followed by her colleague Hannah Schmidt in fourth place with 663 points.

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Last weekend in Visonaz, Switzerland, Thompson, Phelan and India Sherritt each finished on the podium, making it a Canadian hat-trick, and the first time in 14 years that Canadian women have swept the podium at a World Cup in ski cross.

In the men's general classification, Rhys Howden, last season's Crystal Globe winner, is in contention for the title. Howden currently occupies second place, 47 points behind Swiss Alex Fifa, who leads with 628 points, and only one point behind Swedish David Moberg.

The women's race and men's race will be held on Friday, followed by a similar program on Saturday.

Ice cross

The World Cup ski season ends this weekend in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec. Elliot Grondin, already confirmed for his first career Crystal Globe, has the opportunity to do what could be considered a lap of honor in front of family and friends.

Having claimed five gold medals, two silvers and one bronze this season, Grondin missed out on the podium for the first time in the 2023-24 season last Saturday when he crashed out of the semi-finals of the first two events in Montavon. However, this performance was enough to put an end to the slim sporting chance of displacing the Canadian from the top of the overall World Cup standings.

Bothered by an injury sustained this fall, Grondin missed Sunday's event. However, he announced earlier this week that he is able to take part in both home events this weekend.

Qualifying will be held on Friday, followed by the first race on Saturday and the last on Sunday.

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Alpine skiing

The FIS Alpine World Cup circuit, which began in October, comes to a close this weekend with the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals taking place in Saalbach, Austria. A limited number of athletes are invited to participate, including the top 25 athletes in the World Cup standings for each discipline, as well as the World Junior Champions.

There are Canadians competing Friday in the men's super-G and Sunday in the men's downhill. Jeffrey Reid will represent Canada in the super-G while Jack Crawford and Cameron Alexander will compete in both majors.

Crawford looked strong in Wednesday's practice session, finishing seventh. Alexander, who was 21st in practice on Wednesday, has claimed two bronze medals on the World Cup circuit this season, both in downhill, in Bormio in late December and Caviteville in mid-February, while Reed took silver in the super-G in Quettaville. .

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