Tristan Tafel

Ski cross

The new kid on the block, Tafel won his first World Cup in Bischofswiesen/Goetschen, Germany, in February 2012 and went on to win the Canadian championship title in Nakiska, Alta., at the end of that season. The Canmore, Alta., native, a former national development team alpine skier, suffered a career-threatening leg injury at the age of 17 but battled back to return to competition. Tafel has six top-10 World Cup results to his name and two podiums.

 
 
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Top Results

1st – FIS World Cup – Bischofswiesen/Goetschen, GER (2012)
Canadian champion (2012)
Nor-Am champion – Nor-Am Cup (2011)

World Cup ranking

(2013-14)
Overall: 30th

Birth date: 26/02/1990
Birth place:
Canmore, Alta.
Residence:
Canmore, Alta.
Hometown:
Canmore, Alta.
Ski club: Alberta Ski Cross
Made team: 2011
Sponsor: Gimbel Eye Centre
Height: 5-11
Weight: 205 pounds
Skis: Atomic
Boots: Lange
Poles: Leki
Goggles: Oakley
Q&A

Nickname: Taffy, Taf, Stan.

What is your first memory of skiing? Skiing at Sunshine, Alta., with my mom and papa. I was doing front flips off of moguls and broke quite a few goggles back then.

What has been your best moment in ski racing? Winning my first World Cup during my first year on the World Cup circuit. I had a lot of fun with the team that year. 

What has been your worst moment in ski racing? Back when I was an alpine racer, breaking my leg in 2007 in Chile doing downhill training runs.

What is your Olympic dream? Competing at the Olympics and getting to represent my country. My first Olympic memory was the Nagano Olympics. My nanny competed in biathlon and my longtime hero Thomas Grandi had quite the upset straddling one of the last gates.

What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? All the experiences that come with such a different culture. 

If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? Céline Dion, Backstreet Boys, Justin Beiber…just kidding. Probably a rap song to pump me up!

If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be and why? My papa, little sister, or my friends.

What’s a talent or skill you have that fans might be surprised to learn about? I like to do various types of biking including dirt jumping, BMX, downhilling, pump track and the occasional trail ride. I also skateboard.

If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? I would probably go for the most adrenaline fueled day possible: rally cars, sky diving, base jumping, and eating some fine foods.

If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I would probably like to live a lifestyle similar to mine, but film it and have sponsors pay for my lifestyle so I could enter events like the GUMBALL 3000. Balance risk, fun and scaring myself.

When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: biking, skateboarding, skiing powder, or disc golfing.

What’s the best thing about your hometown? The beautiful mountains and the active lifestyles people live!

Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: I like to bring a few flannels on the road. It makes me feel at home.

Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season. Schnitzel and beer in Germany, or eating like a king in Czech. It’s awesome when your money goes far and the food is relatively cheap.

If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? Bring back X Games! They can build anything and the jumps are perfect and big. World Cup courses should be bigger!

Where is your favourite place to race or train? Aspen, Colorado, for the X Games.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? My superpower would be to never get injured or break bones. That would be pretty awesome.

If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would build a log home in the mountains that had lots of terrain and a lake that you could fish on. I like making fires and being surrounded by the outdoors.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road? Go-karting is always good for a laugh. We hit a lot of tracks last season. Watching our servicemen Rod Honey get passed by everyone and the girls was funny. He may have had a slow car but we gave him a hard time. 

Who is someone you admire in sport? Tomáš Kraus because of the longevity of his career in ski cross, Thomas Grandi for blazing the trail for the technical skiers in alpine, and Jan Hudec for his determination and for battling back from multiple injuries.

 

 

Podiums
1st – Bischofswiesen/Goetschen, GER (Feb. 2012)
2nd - Grasgehren, GER (Feb. 2013) 

Results in the top 20
7th - La Plagne, FRA (March 2014)
11th - Val Thorens, FRA (Jan. 2014)
15th - Val Thorens, FRA (Jan. 2014)
18th – Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2013)
19th - Are, SWE (March 2013)
5th - Sochi, RUS (Feb. 2013)
9th - Megeve, FRA (Jan. 2013)
16th – Blue Mountain, Ont. (Feb. 2012)
20th – Alpe d’Huez, FRA (Jan. 2012)
15th – St. Johann, AUT (Jan. 2012)
9th – Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2011)

Canadian Championships
1st – Nakiska, Alta. (April 2012)
2nd – Lake Louise, Alta. (April 2011)

World Ski Championships
9th - Voss-Myrkdalen, NOR (March 2013)

X Games
8th – Aspen, USA (Jan. 2012)

Nor-Am Cup podiums
3rd – Red Mountain, B.C. (March 2011)
1st – Red Mountain, B.C. (March 2011)
2nd – Big White, B.C. (March 2011)
1st – Big White, B.C. (March 2011)
3rd – Alpine Meadows, USA (Feb. 2011)
2nd – Alpine Meadows, USA (Feb. 2011)
1st – Steamboat Springs, USA (Jan. 2011)
1st – Steamboat Springs, USA (Jan. 2011)
1st – Mt. Hood Meadows, USA (Jan. 2011)
2nd – Mt. Hood Meadows, USA (Jan. 2011)