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Alpine Canada – Thompson records 32nd World Cup podium result to kick off 2018-19 season

Calgary, Alta. (Dec. 17, 2018) –  Canada’s Ski Cross Team opened its World Cup season in Arosa, Switzerland, with a podium performance by Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C.

Racing in an evening event, Thompson, 26, won her quarter-final and semi-final heats to advance to the final, where she was edged by Switzerland’s Fanny Smith, who won the race on home snow, and Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund, who finished second.

Thompson suffered an early-season knee injury last year and made a dramatic comeback effort to compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games where she hoped to defend her gold medal from the previous Winter Games in Sochi. An unfortunate crash in the first heat led to a decision to take the rest of the season off to start fresh this season. Her return to snow in November was marked with wins at the Austrian National Championship and on the Europa Cup, and Monday’s World Cup podium points to her comeback efforts being complete as she led her teammates with the day’s top performance.

Fellow Canadian Brittany Phelan, 27, qualified for the small final and finished sixth. The Mont Tremblant Ski Club alumna is looking to build on the momentum set last season where she captured an Olympic silver medal and finished third in the World Cup rankings.

Rounding out the Canadian women’s results were Mikayla Martin, 21, who finished ninth, India Sherret, 22, who finished 11th, Kelsey Serwa, 29, who placed 14th, and Abby McEwen, who finished 20th.

In men’s ski cross action in Arosa on Monday, Calgary’s Brady Leman was the top Canadian, finishing 10th. Kevin MacDonald and Kevin Drury finished 15th and 16th respectively, while Reece Howden (19th), Chris Del Bosco (27th), and Zach Belczyk (49th) rounded out the Canadian results.

Jonas Lenherr gave the Swiss fans plenty to celebrate, winning the men’s race for a double-golden evening in Arosa for the Swiss team.

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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community. In 2020, Alpine Canada will celebrate 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.

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