Bronze for d'Artois in season ender 

Whistlerite enjoys rebound after Olympic heartbreak

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF SIMON D'ARTOIS - SHARP DART Halfpipe skier Simon d'Artois (left) capped the 2017-18 season with a third-place finish in Tignes, France.
  • Photo courtesy of Simon d'Artois
  • SHARP DART Halfpipe skier Simon d'Artois (left) capped the 2017-18 season with a third-place finish in Tignes, France.

Simon d'Artois capped the 2017-18 season with a palate cleanser.

After clawing and scratching his way onto the Canadian Olympic team, d'Artois saw his golden dreams dashed as he fell just short of the last spot in the 12-man finals.

However, after a rest here at home, the Whistlerite returned to the pipe to wrap his season with a third-place finish in Tignes, France late last month, posting an 89.20 to finish behind only fellow Canadian Noah Bowman, claiming his first-ever win, and American Alex Ferreira.

"I'm pretty excited about it. I was thrilled to get back in the pipe," d'Artois said. "I had some time off after the Games and laid low in Whistler. When I went over to France, it was a really quick trip. I was still feeling good after the Games with my skiing; I was trying to keep that going into France."

With the Olympics behind him, d'Artois looked ahead as he attempted to successfully incorporate a new trick into his run that should serve him well in seasons to come. The trick, a switch 1260, came together in his third and final run that helped him secure a medal in his final outing of the campaign.

"It has one more rotation than the trick that was in there," he said. "It's a backwards-to-backwards trick with three-and-a-half rotations."

Though the result helped d'Artois claim fourth overall in the FIS World Cup halfpipe standings, the competition was all in all lacking the intensity usually seen at others.

"We had a pretty easy go on it. We didn't want to take it too seriously," he said. "The conditions turned out to be really good and it just made for a really fun event.

"We were just focusing on the skiing and not really anything else."

And while capping the season with a medal was a welcome rebound after the Olympics, d'Artois managed to put PyeongChang out of his mind almost immediately.

"The initial heartbreak went away at the event and I took a step back and got over it pretty quickly, so I could enjoy the rest of my time there," he said.

"I wanted to go out and show I could do more, so I went out and skied with the finalists. I put down my run. I put down the best run I've ever done in the training and that was more or less for myself. I wanted to show myself that I feel like I belong in the top spots with everybody else."

After the Games, d'Artois came back to Whistler to take things pretty easy, but plans to enjoy all the spring skiing the resort has to offer.

That includes the return of the Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme, which will see him race for the first time.

"I'm excited to check it out and have some fun," he said. "It'll be gnarly, for sure.

"I've never really raced before. I've done shredding, for the most part, on Whistler Blackcomb. I wanted to go out and do some gates, do some speed skiing."



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