WHISTLER, B.C. (April 8, 2012) – Sam Mulligan climbed the podium for the second straight day at the Whistler Cup with a second-place finish in boys’ giant slalom on Sunday, while Switzerland claimed the Nations’ Cup.
As the Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, drew to a close Sunday, the Nations’ Cup was presented to the top nation, with each team comprising three boys and three girls. Canada had three teams of six athletes. Switzerland claimed first-place honours, Team Canada 1 was second and Italy was third.
Ali Nullmeyer, of Toronto, Ont., was presented with the Nancy Greene Award, which is given to the top overall Canadian girl based on the most points over three days, while the Dave Murray Award for the top Canadian boy went to Mulligan, of Vancouver, B.C.
Mulligan, who skis for the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club and was third in Saturday’s slalom, used a solid second run Sunday to move into second place.
“It feels great, “ said Mulligan, who clocked a two-run combined time of one minute, 26.55 seconds. “I was fifth after the first run and the second run was my last run of the year so I decided to go for it and try to have fun with it. The conditions were pretty awesome for this time of year, so I just went for it and I gave it my all and it turned out great.”
This was Mulligan’s third time competing at the Whistler Cup, but his first experience with Team Canada in the K2 category.
“It was really cool because you get a lot more interaction with the other countries,” the 15-year-old said. “Also just to represent Canada, you get earlier start bibs which really helps and it’s nice to be able to wear Canada’s colours and walk around representing Canada. It’s cool because you look into the future and imagine what it would be like to be on the World Cup and you can dream about that.”
The boys’ K2 giant slalom was won by Italy’s Paolo Padello in 1:26.29, while Padello’s teammate Giacomo Scaglione was third (1:26.72). Padello also finished second in Saturday’s slalom. “It’s great, I’m very happy,” he said.
Other members of Team Canada racing on Sunday were James Crawford, of Whistler Mountain Ski Club, who was eighth, Cameron Alexander, of Whistler Mountain Ski Club, who was ninth, Frédéric Courville, of the Club de compétition du Mont Olympia, who was 14th, Justin Beaurivage, of Club de Ski Owl’s Head, who was 18th, Samuel Lamhamedi, of Club de ski Stoneham, who was 25th, Keagan Sharp, of Team Panorama Ski Club, who was 27th and Simon Fournier, of the Club de ski Mont-Tremblant, who was 51st. Riley Seger, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, did not finish his first run.
The top Canadian in the girls’ K2 giant slalom on Sunday was Nullmeyer, who finished just off the podium in fourth with a two-run combined time of 1:20.56. Nullmeyer, who skis for the Georgian Peaks Ski Club, was ninth after the first run and had the third-fastest time in the second run.
“It felt good,” said the 13-year-old of her second run. “It was just really fun. I made a couple of mistakes but I picked it up in some areas. I just had a lot of fun doing it and went my hardest.”
Slovenia’s Andreja Slokar won the K2 girls’ slalom in 1:19.21. Aline Danioth, of Switzerland, was second (1:19.36) and Guro Hvammen, of Norway, was third (1:20.23).
“I’m so happy, I didn’t think I would win,” said Slokar. “My second run wasn’t that good, I almost went out, but I didn’t, so I’m happy.”
Slokar’s win might have been inspired by meeting Slovenia’s World Cup veteran Tina Maze, who attended the Whistler Cup as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations. Maze spent some time with Team Slovenia on Friday.
“I was happy talk to her, I was speechless actually,” said an excited Slokar.
Team Canada had two other racers in the top 10. Mikayla Martin, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, was sixth and Stephanie Currie, of the Osler Bluff Ski Club, was seventh. Alexandra Burk, of the Lake Louise Ski Club, was 24th and Ingrid Gendron, of the Mont Orford Ski Club, was 32nd. Courtney Hoffos, of Windermere Valley Ski Club, Stefanie Fleckenstein, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and Alexandra Courchesne, of Équipe de ski de compétition Mont Saint-Sauveur, did not finish their second runs, while Haley McKercher, of the Sunshine Ski Club, did not finish her first run.
Canada’s team leader, coach Jean-François Bélisle, was pleased with his teams’ performances at Whistler Cup
“Overall, the last few days were very productive,” said Bélisle. “All the athletes have learned how to be better in major events, how to handle certain situations, how to better deal with pressure and the caliber of skiing and in some cases how to handle media.”
For the 2012 edition of the Whistler Cup, racers in the K1 category were competing in a K1-racing festival, and not in a sanctioned FIS (International Ski Federation) race. In the boys’ K1 giant slalom, which was based on one run, Iles Finn, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, was first (48.00), Liam Wallace, of the Sunshine Ski Club, was second (48.09) and Louis Phillippe Noel, of the Équipe de ski de compétition Mont Saint-Sauveur, was third (49.14). In the girls’ K1 slalom, which was based on two runs, Laurence Huot, also of the Équipe de ski de compétition Mont Saint-Sauveur, was first (1:18.05), Brianna MacDonald, of the Osler Bluff Ski Club, was second (1:20.24) and Kristina Natalenko, of the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club, was third (1:21.00).
The K1 festival Nations’ Cup was won by Japan. The K1 Dave Murray Award was presented to Finn, while the K1 Nancy Greene award went to Huot.
To help celebrate the 20th anniversary edition of the Whistler Cup, organizers welcomed back former racers. Current Canadian Alpine Ski Team members Robbie Dixon and Michael Janyk, of Whistler, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Vancouver, B.C., and Erin Mielzynski, of Guelph, Ont., were all in attendance, in addition to Maze, who raced in the Whistler Cup in 1996 and 1998.
“It’s great to have so many countries racing here and it’s a great opportunity for Europeans to come and compete against Canada and other countries,” said Maze, who has 38 World Cup podiums and is the reigning world champion in giant slalom. “The organization has been really nice and the volunteers did a great job. It was fun to ski again in Whistler and I look forward to coming back soon.”
Mulligan had the opportunity spend time with Osborne-Paradis and Dixon.
“It was pretty cool to meet those guys,” he said. “It was interesting because on the hill they are superstars and off the hill they are everyday people out there having fun.”
For more information about the Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, go to www.whistlercup.com.
APRIL 8, 2012 - WHISTLER CUP – WHISTLER, B.C. - K2 GIRLS’ SLALOM (Unofficial results)
APRIL 8, 2012 - WHISTLER CUP – WHISTLER, B.C. - K2 BOYS’ GIANT SLALOM (Unofficial results)
APRIL 8, 2012 - WHISTLER CUP K1 FESTIVAL – WHISTLER, B.C. – K1 GIRLS’ SLALOM (Unofficial results)
APRIL 8, 2012 - WHISTLER CUP K1 FESTIVAL – WHISTLER, B.C. – K1 BOYS’ GIANT SLALOM (Unofficial results)
ABOUT THE WHISTLER CUP
The Whistler Cup, presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, is an international event for ski racers generally aged 13 and 14 in the K2 category. For the 2012 edition, the Whistler Cup is for athletes in the K2 category and not in the K1 category as in the past (K1 racers will be competing in a K1-racing festival). The Whistler Cup will be awarded to the best nation’s team. In its 20th year, it features 350 skiers from 18 countries. World Cup skiers who have participated in years past include Canada's Erik Guay and Mielzynski, plus international stars including Slovenia's Maze, Sweden’s Anja Pärson and Benjamin Raich, of Austria.
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