CALGARY – Paralympic Games medallists Alana Ramsay, Kurt Oatway and Alexis Guimond lead Canada into this month’s season-opening World Cup and the world championships in Para alpine skiing beginning Wednesday (January 16).
The World Cup season opens in Zagreb, Croatia with men’s and women’s slalom races on Wednesday and Thursday. Live streams of those races as well as the events at the World Para Alpine Skiing Championship Jan. 21-Feb. 1, are available via the CBC Gem app and cbcgem.ca, as well as on the CPC Facebook page, with select events available on the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports.
“With what we’ve seen so far in training and Europa Cup racing, we are confident our racers will continue their successful path from the Games last year,’’ said Canada’s head coach Jean-Sebastien Labrie of Quebec CIty.
Ramsay, of Calgary, earned her first Paralympic medals at her second career Games in PyeongChang, with bronze in both the super-G and super combined. She won four medals at the 2017 worlds.
Veteran sit skier Oatway, also of C algary, is the Paralympic Games downhill champion and returns to the worlds after missing the 2017 edition due to injury.
The 19-year-old Guimond, of Gatineau, Que., won bronze medals in the giant slalom at both the 2017 worlds and 2018 Games.
Also on the team are young veteran Braydon Luscombe of Duncan, who has focused his training on the speed events as he chases a first career world championship medal along with NextGen Team athletes Alex Cairns of Squamish, B.C., Frederique Turgeon of Candiac, Que., and Mel Pemble of Victoria.
There is some unfortunate news for Canada as multiple Paralympic Games medallists Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste Marie and Mollie Jepsen of Whistler will miss the worlds due to injury and illness.
The visually impaired Marcoux, who skies with new guide Tristan Rodgers of Ottawa, is out with a back injury while Jepsen was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease this past fall. She hopes to race at World Cups later this winter.
Para alpine skiers contributed 10 of Canada’s 28-medal record haul in PyeongChang.
Labrie is excited about the young skiers coming up the ranks.
‘’Our NextGen Team is beginning to show they are closing the gap with the best on the World Cup circuit,’’ he said. “We are confident in the training and progress of our athletes during this preparation period, and are excited to get the racing underway.”
Turgeon is Canada’s sole entry for the Zagreb World Cup and she’ll join her teammates for the worlds in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and Sella Nevea, Italy.