Freestylers go out with a bang 

Rochon finishes career with a gold performance

All’s well that ends well for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team.

With consistent performances and over a dozen podium finishes to its credit in the 2002-2003 season, the Canadian team once again showed why it is one of the most dominant forces on the World Cup tour.

The season wrapped up in Europe last weekend, with the aerials team competing in a pair of events at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic, and the bump skiers in single and dual moguls competition at Voss, Norway.

Starting with the mogul skiers, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau of Drummondville, Quebec, finished in 11 th place – about eight spots back of the podium he wanted, but with more than enough points to finish second overall in the World Cup standings.

A better finish at Voss would have granted him the overall title.

"The course was steep and icy and I misjudged my jumps," said Rousseau. "I went too high and too fast. It was probably my worst run ever in which I actually finished. I was feeling very nervous."

Not surprising considering that the 23-year-old missed the Olympics and the end of the season last year with a pair of broken vertebrae after a crash during an icy training run.

Rousseau finished with 616 points, 12 points back of Travis Cabral of the U.S.

The gold medal at Voss went to Janne Lahtela of Finland, followed by Luke Westerlund and Travis Mayer of the U.S.

Stephan Rochon was the top Canadian in seventh place.

Also for Canada, Chris Wong of Prince George was 17 th , Warren Tanner of Grimsby, Ontario was 23 rd , and Scott Bellavance of Whistler and Prince George was 24 th .

In the women’s moguls, Shannon Bahrke of the U.S. took the gold medal and the overall World Cup title. Aiko Uemura of Japan was second, and Kari Traa of Norway – past champion and the runner-up to Bahrke this season – finished third.

Kristi Richards of Summerland was the top Canadian in eighth place. Elisa Kurylowicz of Manotick, Ontario was 13 th , Sylvia Kerfoot of Vancouver 15 th and Jennifer Simm of Prince George on 16 th .

On Sunday, March 2, Rochon’s 10-year career came to a close as the 28-year-old announced his retirement earlier this year. He said his only remaining goal this year was to go out on a high note, and he more than accomplished that in the dual moguls with a gold medal performance.

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