Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand Captures First Ever Bronze Medal in Men’s Slopestyle Skiing
Freestyle Canada – Team Canada Strongest on the Slopes with Three Skiers Finishing in Top Six
Vancouver, BC – It proved to be a blazing hot Sunday afternoon on the slopes of Phoenix Snow Park, where two-time Olympian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand won the first ever medal for Canada, a bronze, in men’s slopestyle skiing.
In one of the hottest-contested Olympic events yet, the 23-year-old X Games bronze medallist from Quebec City had to land a clutch final run in the qualifying round just to advance to the finals. Once there, he continued to execute creative lines through the rail sections with unique grabs and solid landings on his jumps to finish in third place with a high score of 92.40, improving on his 12th place finish from the 2014 Sochi Games.
“I came here to show the world what I can do on my skis, and that’s what I did,” commented Beaulieu-Marchand. “To put it all together was unreal. I did more triple flips, clean dub-9s and progressive tricks in the last two days than I have in the past six months, since I’ve been injured. I skied the best I have in my life today, that was my goal and it’s really cool I got the bronze medal.”
X Games gold medallist Oystein Braaten of Norway is now an Olympic gold medallist, winning today’s event with a score of 95.00. Defending Olympic bronze medallist Nick Goepper of the United States added a silver medal to his collection, with a score of 93.60.
The skill level in today’s competition was so high, eight of the top 12 scores in the qualifying round were 90.00 points or higher. The current World Champion, Macrae Williams of United States, and X Games Champion, Henrik Harlaut of Sweden, did not even advance to the finals.
With today’s strong showing, it’s clear Freestyle Canada has a world-leading men’s slopestyle program, claiming three of the top six spots in the contest. Canada and Switzerland were the only countries to qualify three skiers into the finals, with the Swiss skiers finishing in 7th, 9th and 11thplaces.
Beaulieu-Marchand had two other teammates by his side to the end: Teal Harle, the 22-year-old from Campbell River, BC and Evan McEachran, the 21-year-old from Oakville, Ontario, who finished in 5th and 6th place, respectively.
Harle, the seventh ranked skier in the world who won the last Olympic qualifying event to secure his spot on Team Canada, demonstrated great composure in his Olympic debut, performing consistent, standout passes through the rail section and great air awareness on his jumps to record a high score of 90.00 in finals, good enough for 5th place.
“Today was unreal, I’ve definitely surpassed every expectation I had for the Games,” commented Harle. “Going into it, my goal was just to land a run in qualifications and I made it to finals, so that was insane. It took me three tries, but I landed a clean run in finals. I couldn’t be happier with how today went.”
With two World Cup podium finishes this season, Evan McEachran, the youngest member on Canada’s Olympic Freestyle team, finished in 6th position with a high score of 89.40 in finals, executing one of the most technical rail lines in the competition and a variety of double grabs on his jumps.
Alex Bellemare, the 24-year-old from St. Boniface, Quebec and winner of the 2016 Olympic slopestyle test event did not advance to finals, recording a high score of 64.20 in the qualification round. He finished in 22nd place.
The Canadian men’s slopestyle team will resume their season on the FIS World Cup tour, heading to Italy in March for the last competition of the season.
Next Olympic Events:
- Men’s Aerials Finals, February 18, 6 AM ET
- Women’s Halfpipe Qualifications, February 18, 8 PM ET
- Women’s Halfpipe Finals, February 19, 830 PM ET
A complete listing of Olympic Freestyle events, with Canadian time changes, can be found on our website.
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