Eventually something is going to happen to bump pilot Kaillie Humphries and brakewoman Chelsea Valois off the podium this season, but when it happens it's likely going to be a mistake they've made rather than the result of anything their competition does.
At the World Cup in Igls, Austria, this past weekend, Humphries earned her 11th consecutive podium stretching back to last season, this time winning a silver medal. Nine of her 11 podium appearances have been after gold medal runs, including a few wins this year on European tracks that she doesn't know as well.
She's accomplished the streak with two different brakewomen at the end of last season, but since the start of the season she's been paired with rookie Chelsea Valois of Winnipeg.
Despite the podium last weekend Humphries was disappointed by a mistake that bumped her back from the top spot.
"It is frustrating when you lose by that close (0.01 seconds) but I made a mistake and that cost me time," said Humphries. "The positive is (that) I have never done well here. I have come third, but last year was ninth, so it can go either way."
Sandra Kiriasis and Franziska Bertels of Germany won the race, while Jazmine Fenlator and Aja Evans of the U.S. were third. The Canada 2 sled, pilot Jenny Ciochetti and Emily Baadsvik, was 14th.
The women's bobsleigh was followed by the women's skeleton. Sarah Reid was the top Canadian in that race, finishing just off the podium in a three-way tie for fourth place. Melissa Hollingsworth was 12th and Cassie Hawrysh 17th. Russia's Elena Nikitina and Maria Orlova were first and third, with Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S. second.
In the men's skeleton the next day, Eric Nielson was the top Canadian in sixth place, while Jon Montgomery was eighth and John Fairbairn 15th. The Dukurs brothers of Latvia were first and third in the race, with Alexander Tretjyakov of Russia second.
In men's two-man bobsleigh, the team of Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown placed sixth, while Chris Spring and Neville Wright were eighth and Justin Kripps and Sam Giguere were 11th.
Germany 1 and 2 teams were first and second, followed by Latvia 1.
In four-man, Rush's sled placed 10th overall. Germany 1 and 2 teams were first and third, while the Swiss sled was second.
Darcy Sharpe on top at Nanshan Open
Whistler Valley Snowboard Club athlete Darcy Sharpe finished on top of the Nansham Open in Beijing, China this past weekend, a five-star event on the TTR World Snowboard Tour.
Sharpe finished the main event in fourth place after the slopestyle finals were cancelled due to snow and the qualifying runs were accepted as the final results. However, to keep crowds entertained the organizers held a new event, the "Super Method-Off and Rail Jam," the next day with a prize purse of $6,000. The course consisted of three tricks — a mandatory method grab on the top air, a trick over the second table with an option to jib the up-pipe and, lastly, a rail section. Sharpe was credited with the best method of the day, landed a half-cab to backside 360 off the up-pipe and a 270 on and 270 off the down rail to win the contest.
Jeremy Thompson of the U.S. got credit for the slopestyle win, followed by Juuso Laivisto of Finland, Sondre Tiller of Norway.
Mosher earns Queen's Jubilee medal
Whistler Paralympian Tyler Mosher has been selected for a 60th anniversary Queen's Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for his "contribution to the advancement of the Paralympic Movement in Canada."
Mosher was partially paralyzed below the waste after a snowboard accident in December 2000. Doctors used the latest medical science to limit swelling in the area of his broken vertebrae while Mosher himself worked hard at rehabilitation to regain partial use of his legs.
A former rugby player and athlete, Mosher got into cross-country skiing with the goal of representing Canada in the 2010 Paralympics. He gradually worked his way onto the national team and qualified for the Games.
During that time he also started snowboarding again. There was no Paralympic category for adaptive snowboarders at the time and very few competitions with adaptive divisions, but Mosher connected with athletes and lobbied for the sport at every level. His larger goal was to inspire kids with disabilities to consider taking up the sport, and knew that Paralympic recognition and more events would help to make that happen.
Others picked up his fight internationally, including Canada Snowboard and the International Snowboard Federation, and in May 2012 it was announced by the International Paralympic Committee that snowboarding would be at the Paralympics in 2014.
Mosher won't be able to accept his jubilee medal in person this Friday, Jan. 25 as he will be snowboarding at a competition in the U.S.
The Jubilee celebrates 60 years since Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne.
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