Mike Riddle takes silver in Ski Halfpipe

With the incredible success of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, freestyle skiing has captivated the world. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Alexandre Bilodeau, and Dara Howell are just three of Canada’s seven medalists in the sport, quickly becoming household Canadian names.

“We hope that the great results from Sochi and performances of athletes like Justine, Dara, Alex, Mike, Mik, Chloe and Kim will get kids wanting to try freestyle skiing,” says incoming CFSA CEO Bruce Robinson. The disciplines of freestyle skiing include Aerials, Single Moguls, Dual Moguls and, debuting in Sochi, Halfpipe and Slopestyle. “Our athletes learned Freestyle at our ski clubs across Canada. Our clubs offer excellent development opportunities with our CAN Freestyle programs that start kids on a fun and safe path to freestyle skiing,” said Robinson.

Gold for Alex Bilodeau
[Gold for Alex Bilodeau]

With the burgeoning interest in the two newest disciplines, freestyle skiing continues to be dynamic and relevant to skiers of all ages. The Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, known as “the Canadian Air Force,” is the world leader in freestyle skiing, winning nine World Championships in 2013, 42 FIS World Cups and 11 AFP Platinum-level medals. The team’s medal haul of three gold, three silver, and a bronze at the recent 2014 Olympics in Sochi was an all-time best for Canada – who also placed at the top of Freestyle Skiing medal rankings.
“It’s been an awesome Games for us,” said CFSA’s High Performance Director, David Mirota. “It has truly been a team performance with not only the athletes and coaches, but also the support team that has worked so hard behind the scenes.”
When asked to reflect on their Olympic experiences, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe said, “I will remember that I was with my two amazing sisters and we enjoyed and laughed ourselves like crazy. We had the best time of our lives.”
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand might have summed up the experience in a way that all the athletes felt, saying “I think I will remember how much fun I had with the other Canadians and how proud I was to be representing my country.”

Dara Howell finishes with a gold medal, Kim Lamarre takes the bronze
[Dara Howell finishes with a gold medal, Kim Lamarre takes the bronze] 
Dara Howell reminisced, “the one thing I’ll remember most is running to my Dad at the bottom after hearing my score, then going to the top and doing the same with [coach] Toben [Sutherland], just knowing how proud they both were and how excited we all were in the moment.”
Phil Marquis added that “Freestyle is a big family and that Canada is the best country to represent. And that whatever the result, the Olympics are great because they bring people together.”
The athletes continue on to the final FIS Freestyle Ski World Cups across Europe and Asia as they depart Sochi.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe takes gold and her sister, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe gets a silver!
[Justine Dufour-Lapointe takes gold and her sister, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe gets a silver!]
The CFSA was established in 1995 with a mission to develop – in a safe, fun, and ethical manner – Olympic and World Champions in all disciplines of the sport of freestyle skiing.

There are now over 50 Freestyle Ski clubs across the country which provide training programs to aspiring athletes of all ages under CanFree, the CFSA’s long-term athlete development program.
Visit the Canadian Freestyle Ski website for more information about freestyle skiing clubs across Canada. Information on CAN Freestyle programs can be found here.

Photos reprinted with permission by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.

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