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Whistler athlete on X Games podium

Ricker grabs bronze in snowboardcross

By Andrew Mitchell

The 11 th annual Winter X Games took place in Aspen this past weekend, with organizers cramming over a dozen ski, snowboard and snowmobile events into four days.

Canadian and Whistler athletes took part, competing against the top athletes from around the world.

In the women’s halfpipe, Whistler’s Mercedes Nicoll hung in to finish sixth overall behind the likes of Torah Bright, Gretchen Bleiler, Elena Hight, Hannah Teter and Kjersti Oestgaard Buass.

No Canadian men qualified for the finals, but recent World Cup bronze medalist Brad Martin, who rides out of Whistler, came close, finishing in 10 th place.

In the snowboardcross, where athletes race in groups of six, Whistler’s Maëlle Ricker pulled out a third place medal behind Joanie Anderson and Lilndsey Jacobellis. Erin Simmons of Vancouver was third in the consolation final to place ninth overall.

On the men’s side, Vancouver’s Drew Neilson had problems in the semi-final but won the small final to rank seventh.

In the slopestyle, Quebec’s Marie-France Roy placed fifth, followed by Whistler’s Leanne Pelosi. B.C.’s Spencer O’Brien also qualified for the finals, placing eighth.

In the ski halfpipe, Vernon’s Justin Dorey was the only Canadian to make the finals where he finished his day in 10 th .

On the women’s side of things, Sarah Burke of Ontario took the top spot, once again the only Canuck to make the cut.

In skiercross, Whistler’s Davey Barr placed second in the consolation final to rank eighth overall. Brian Bennett, a former Whistler Mountain Ski Club racer, placed fifth in the consolation round.

On the women’s side, Anik Demers-Wild made the finals, placing sixth.

In Snocross, a snowmobile motocross race, Alberta’s Ryan Simons picked up the silver medal.