As Marielle Thompson's fans and family have watched her race as of late, they've probably thought to themselves: now there's the three-time Crystal Globe champion we know.
Thompson is on fire, reinforcing her place atop FIS season standings with wins in four of her last five World Cup races. On Feb. 10, she and Brittany Phelan of Mont-Tremblant, Que. combined for a one-two Canadian finish and the Whistlerite's inaugural triumph in Bakuriani, Georgia. Marielle Berger Sabbatel found herself third for France.
On Feb. 11, Thompson was even more dominant: victorious in all of her heats en route to the 29th World Cup gold medal and 65th podium of her career. Sabbatel clinched silver, and Talina Gantenbein of Switzerland earned bronze. India Sherret (Crankbrook, B.C.) and Phelan skied to fourth and sixth, respectively.
“Stoked to be on the podium with Britt,” Thompson said in a press release. “It was super special to sing Oh Canada together. This course is fun to ski with lots of jumps and action, and you need to ski well to be fast.
"I tried to be better each run and to ski clean the whole way down,” she added on Sunday. “I learned from last year at the World Championships [in Bakuriani] that small mistakes can make you lose speed very quickly. The start was quite important, so I just did my best to be quick and powerful out of the gate and to go from there.”
Commented Phelan, who has 16 medals in 70 World Cup appearances and sits fourth in season rankings: "It was a good day of racing [on Saturday] and I'm pumped to be on the podium, especially with Mar. It wasn’t easy out there, it was a real battle in the finals, but made it happen and looking forward to another shot at it."
Canada's men had some tougher luck in Georgia, with their best performance of the weekend being 11th from Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, Ont.).
The ski cross squad next heads to Reiteralm, Austria, for events on Feb. 24 and 25.