On Feb. 4, Alpine Canada officially announced today the athletes who will represent Canada at the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel and Méribel, France. The roster includes four members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC): Jack Crawford, Broderick Thompson, Cameron Alexander and Brodie Seger.
The Whistler-based contenders have had some big moments over the course of this season. Crawford is putting together a career year, winning his first two FIS World Cup medals, a silver and a bronze, last December in Beaver Creek, Colo. and Bormio, Italy. Canadian skiing fans won't soon forget the 25-year-old's watershed Olympic bronze medal in alpine combined, which he earned at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Thompson, 28, achieved a career-best ninth place in the downhill on Jan. 20 in Kitzbüehel, Austria. He managed his best career Olympic performance in Beijing last year when he crossed the line in eighth in alpine combined.
A day after that, Alexander made his mark in Kitzbüehel with a season-best sixth place in downhill. It was the 25-year-old's first top 10 on the World Cup circuit since he won gold back on March 4, 2022 in Kvitfjell, Norway.
"It has been an exciting World Cup season so far and the team is showing that they are ready to build on the podiums from last season," said Mark Tilston, head coach of the Canadian men's alpine ski team, in a press release.
"Jack [Crawford's] two podiums, Cam [Alexander] and Broderick [Thompson] in the top 10 in Kitzbühel, [Jeffrey Read's] seventh place last week, are some of the team’s highlights, and signs of what’s to come for this group," Tilston continued. "The guys have been training and racing hard and are rounding into form for these world championships."
On the women's side
Key names here include a trio of Quebecers: Valerie Grenier of Mont-Tremblant, Laurence St-Germain of St. Ferréol-les-Neiges and Marie-Michele Gagnon from Lac-Etchemin.
Grenier, 26, had a career-defining moment of her own on Jan. 7 when she struck giant slalom gold in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. In so doing, she earned her first-ever World Cup medal and became the first Canadian winner of a women's World Cup giant slalom race since Kathy Kreiner did it in Pronften, Germany in 1974. Grenier also broke a five-race win streak that American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin had been on at the time.
"Our women have had some special moments this season," said Karin Harjo, head coach for the Canadian ladies. "This group really supports and pushes each other to be better every day. Val [Grenier's] World Cup win was an amazing moment for the team that served to reinforce the possibilities that come from hard work and determination. We believe that the best is yet to come for this amazing group of athletes."
Championship racing begins Feb. 6 with women’s combined and wraps up Feb. 19 with men’s slalom. Visit the FIS website for more information and the CBC Sports website for streaming options.