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CALGARY, ALTA. (Feb. 12, 2013) — Sixteen of the nation’s most talented young ski racers have been named to a youthful Canadian team that will compete at the 31st FIS World Junior Ski Championships, which will be held in the Quebec City region next week.
Alpine Canada selected a squad that features several athletes who have limited experience of international competition but are eligible to compete at world juniors events for several more years. The roster also includes two budding stars – Trevor Philp and Mikaela Tommy – who are currently competing at the senior FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria, and will be genuine podium threats at the world juniors.
“We are targeting younger athletes with an eye to the future,” said Paul Kristofic, Alpine Canada’s vice-president of sports. “You need to have a couple of big event experiences under your belt before you are ready to be a serious contender for the podium. That’s why we are targeting athletes who have a number of years of eligibility left so that a few years down the road we have a team of contenders. There’s a wave of talented athletes coming.”
Canada’s team includes eight skiers from Quebec, three from B.C. and Ontario and two from Alberta. The youngest, Valérie Grenier, of St-Isidore, Que., was born in 1996 and is 16 years old. The championships, which will feature more than 250 athletes from 50 countries, will be held at the Le Massif de Charlevoix ski resort (speed events) and the Mont-Sainte-Anne ski resort (technical events) from Feb. 18-28. Athletes will compete in downhill, super-G, slalom, giant slalom, a team event and combined.
“It’s a team of athletes who have earned their place at the world juniors by way of their performance this season,” Kristofic said. “World juniors is one of the strongest benchmarks for (young racers). Any time you get to start in a big event you learn to deal with nerves and excitement. I think the experience will be very valuable.
“There are a couple of athletes who are serious contenders. Philp and Tommy being at the world championships shows the caliber of athlete we are putting into world juniors.”
Tommy, of Wakefield, Que., is the youngest member of Canada’s senior world championship team. The 17-year-old is from a ski racing family and her parents and grandfather, as well as his brothers, competed nationally and internationally. Tommy made her World Cup debut in Maribor, Slovenia, in January and is due to compete in giant slalom at the world championships in Schladming on Thursday.
Philp, of Calgary, Alta., has competed in eight World Cup races and is a veteran of three previous world junior championships, with his best result being a fourth-place finish in slalom last year in Roccaraso, Italy.
“I am very excited to be returning to world juniors, especially with a few years of experience under my belt,” Philp said. “Last year I had some decent results in Italy, but I was still shooting for a bit more. With this being my last year being able to attend world juniors, I will really be pushing for podiums in both slalom and giant slalom – and the higher up the podium the better!
“It is even more special this year as it is in Canada and my mom and grandparents are coming out for it. I really believe Canada has a strong team this year to throw in some solid results.”
Philp said he’s honoured to be able to represent Canada at back-to-back at senior and junior world championships.
“These next couple of weeks are a very exciting time for me,” Philp said. “I am very fortunate to be able to attend both championships this year. I'll bring the heat into both and see what happens.
“Having them back-to-back is great. It allows me to a have a ramp-up period now, and then the plan is to take all the excitement and energy from one right into the next. No matter what the level, they are both championships for me and will be treated as such.”
The men’s team will be led by head coach Jean-François Bélisle, who will be assisted by Johnny Davidson, Chris Newey, Don Lyon, Daniel Latouche, Mike Pillarski and Chris Powers. Peter Rybarik will take on the role of head coach for the women’s team and he will work alongside Todd Cuthbert, Don Lyon, Francois Royal and Jeff Lackie.
|Vincent Lajoie||1993||Sherbrooke||Quebec||Club de ski de Orford|
|Trevor Philp||1992||Calgary||Alberta||Banff Alpine Racers|
|William Schuessler Bédard||1993||Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu||Quebec||Club de ski Sutton|
|William St-Germain||1992||St-Ferréol-Les-Neiges||Quebec||Club de ski Mont Ste-Anne|
|Ford Swette||1993||North Vancouver||B.C.||Whistler Mountain|
|Broderick Thompson||1994||Whistler||B.C.||Whistler Mountain|
|Tianda Carroll||1993||Jasper||Alberta||Alberta Ski Academy|
|Candace Crawford||1994||Toronto||Ontario||Georgian Peaks|
|Charley Field||1995||Pemberton||B.C.||Whistler Mountain|
|Valérie Grenier||1996||St-Isidore||Quebec||Mont Tremblant|
|Kelly Moore||1994||Ottawa/Mont Tremblant||Quebec||Mont Tremblant|
|Julia Roth||1993||Waterloo||Ontario||Devil's Glen|
|Laurence St-Germain||1994||St-Ferréol-Les-Neiges||Quebec||Club de ski Mont Ste Anne|
|Mikaela Tommy||1995||Wakefield||Quebec||Club de ski Edelweiss|
Wednesday, Feb. 20: Men’s downhill training (Massif)
Thursday, Feb. 21: Men’s downhill training (Massif), women’s giant slalom (Mont Sainte-Anne)
Friday, Feb. 22: Men’s downhill (Massif), women’s slalom (Mont Sainte-Anne)
Saturday, Feb. 23: Men’s super-G (Massif) and team event (Mont Sainte-Anne)
Sunday, Feb. 24: Women’s downhill training (Massif)
Monday, Feb. 25: Men’s giant slalom (Mont Sainte-Anne), women’s downhill training (Massif)
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Men’s slalom (Mont Sainte-Anne), women’s downhill (Massif)
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Women’s super-G (Massif)
For more information about the world juniors, visit http://www.alpinecanada.org/events/2013/fis-junior-world-ski-championships or check out the official website at http://www.mjaq2013.com/countries/index/lang:eng.
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