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Team Canada Snowsports Highlights 2023-2024 – Team Canada

Team Canada Snowsports Highlights 2023-2024 – Team Canada

AP Photo / Darko Bandic, The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissenot, Mateusz Kilbinksi / FIS Freestyle, GEPA / Patrick Steiner

As the weather warms and the snow melts, Team Canada fans will begin to turn their attention toward Paris 2024 – but not before we recap some of the incredible moments from this winter sports season, when athletes broke records, topped podiums, and hoisted trophies!

Here are some of our favorite stories across snow sports:

Mughal

Mikael Kingsbury lived up to his nickname, 'King of the Moguls', once again this season, reaching the unprecedented milestone of claiming his 90th career victory. Kingsbury now holds the record for the most World Cup victories by a man in any FIS Olympic discipline. Kingsbury added two Crystal Globes to his collection this season, capturing the dual Mongols and overall Mongols titles. This brings his career tally to 26.

The veteran wasn't the only Canadian athlete to find success this season. Maya Schwinghammer, 22, gave herself a wonderful Christmas gift on December 23, as she won her first ever World Cup medal with a silver in the Dual Mongols in Bakuriani. Elliott Vaillancourt, 24, also claimed his first World Cup medal, a silver in the Mongols in Alpe d'Huez in December. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Louis David Chalifoux was named FIS Rookie of the Year for the Men's Monarchs.

Cross skiing

There have been so many medal moments for Canadian ski athletes, it's hard to know where to start.

Early in the season, Jared Schmidt went from earning his first World Cup victory in early December in Val Thorens, France, to making it three straight victories. The second gold medal in Arosa, Switzerland stands out as an extra meaningful moment. Not only did Schmidt top the podium, but so did his sister and teammate Hannah Schmidt. Their first ever World Cup victory made them the first brothers to sweep the gold medal in skiing on the same day.

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Another special moment came in March in Vesonnaz, Switzerland when three Canadian women swept the podium at the World Cup in Skiing for the first time in 14 years. Mariel Thompson took gold, Brittany Phelan silver and India Sherritt bronze, sending a clear message about the depth of talent on Team Canada.

Thompson led the way on a larger scale. Her six wins helped clinch her fourth career Crystal Globe. This was despite having played eight races as the 31-year-old claimed her first win of the season. She proceeded to continue her career, finishing first in six of the last nine races. Thompson is a long-time performer on the circuit, having collected her first Crystal Globe in 2012.

But she wasn't the only Canadian No. 1 in the season's final standings. Phelan finished third overall, followed by Hannah Schmidt in fourth and Sherritt in sixth. On the men's level, Reece Howden finished second overall, with five podium finishes this season.

All this success led Canada to win the Nations Cup, an award given every year to the country that tops the FIS rankings. This is Canada's third win in a row. Canada has won the Nations Cup 11 times in its 17 years.

Ice cross

Elliott Grondin capped off a stellar season by earning his first career Crystal Globe in Mont-Sainte-Anne, just an hour from where he grew up in Quebec.

Elliott Grondin receives the Crystal Ball in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec on March 24, 2024. The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissenot

Grondin's dominant season included podium finishes in 10 of the 12 World Cup races, including seven victories. He finished a massive 348 points ahead of second place in the season standings. The 22-year-old had closed out the Crystal Globe before the final weekend of racing at Mont Saint Anne, but Grondin went on to claim a double gold performance in front of his hometown crowd.

Snowboard/big air style

Liam Brierley made history as the first Canadian to win a Crystal Globe in figure skating. The 21-year-old was shocked – “I really thought someone from the Canadian team would do it before me.” – to discover that his win was the first of its kind, considering the talent that Canada has boasted over the past fifteen years.

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Both of Brierley's gold medals were won in Switzerland – the first in Laax in January and the second in Silvaplana in March. At the LAX World Cup, his teammate Cameron Spalding took the bronze medal.

Perennial Team Canada favorite Mark McMorris has taken a step back this season, but he still competed in the X Games, winning silver in the men's downhill. The 29-year-old holds the Winter X Games record for the most career medals. He is currently recovering from surgery on a fractured orbital bone, but McMorris is no stranger to the comeback train, having suffered several serious injuries throughout his career.

Ski jumping

Canadian skiers have had great success throughout the season. Twenty-year-old Alexandria Loutit has claimed six individual World Cup podiums this season, including four on regular hills and two on large hills. She also teamed with Abigail Strate to take silver in the Super Team regular hill event. Loutit finished third in the FIS World Cup standings.

The Strat also had a strong season before missing some time due to injury. The 23-year-old claimed three consecutive individual World Cup medals as the calendar turned from 2023 to 2024, two on large hills, one on a regular hill, before adding the silver medal he shared with Loutet in the team event in late January.

Alpine skiing

Kranjska Gora is also Valery Grenier's lucky mountain. Just a year after claiming her first World Cup win there, the 27-year-old defended her victory, claiming another gold medal in the giant slalom to secure the second World Cup win of her career.

But her talents extended beyond her favorite event when she skied to third place in the downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy just 20 days later in January. The podium was a bit more crowded than usual, with Grenier part of a historic three-way tie for bronze alongside Austria's Cristina Agger and Italy's Sofia Goggia.

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This was Grenier's first World Cup podium in a discipline other than giant slalom. Unfortunately, this rise was followed by a fall as a result of a collapse that left Grenier needing surgery and halted what was going to be an excellent season.

On the men's side, Cameron Alexander reached two World Cup podiums this season. He ended 2023 with a bronze medal in Bormio, Italy, in late December before adding another bronze in February in Kvitvil, Norway. Also in Kvitfjell, Geoffrey Reid took silver in Super-G for his first World Cup podium.

Downhill/big air/halfpipe

Amy Fraser has medaled in every color this season, starting with bronze in skiing the halfpipe at Secret Garden in December, followed by gold at Mammoth Mountain in early February and silver in Calgary in mid-February. Fraser finished second overall in the FIS halfpipe skiing standings, behind the dominant Elaine Guo of China.

Gold medalist Amy Fraser, with silver medalist Elaine Go and bronze medalist Zoe Atkin at Mammoth Mountain, February 2, 2024 Photo: Buchholz/@fisfreestyle

Fellow Canadian Brendan MacKay also won a silver medal in skiing the halfpipe in Calgary.

In downhill skiing style, Team Canada athletes took turns making it to the podium, with a series of consistent performances throughout the season. Evan McEachran started the season well with a gold medal in Stubai in late November, Max Moffat took bronze in Laax in January, and Olivia Aslin skated to bronze in Tignes in March.

Antennas

Marion Thénault started her season in style by winning the World Cup in the opening match in Ruka, Finland. She powered her way to a bronze medal in front of the Canadian crowd in Lac Beauport in February, followed by another gold medal in Almaty, Kazakhstan in March. This medal was enough for third place overall in the FIS standings at the end of the season.

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