Halfpipe, slopestyle ski athletes on podium 

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Even during a week when the moguls team is travelling and the aerials athletes were off testing the 2014 Olympic site in Russia, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team brought home four medals.

The team was at Mammoth Mountain, California for a Sprint U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe and slopestyle competition, which are counted as World Cup events by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

The team's only gold medal went to Kaya Turski in women's slopestyle. Turski has won every event she's entered this season, including X Games and Dew Tour competitions, and won at Mammoth by close to five points.

"It was great to stay in my own place and sleep in my own bed," said Turski, who lives and trains in Mammoth. "But still, it was a tough week with everything getting postponed. I'm really happy and really excited with my runs."

The postponements were the result of a massive snowstorm that hampered all the events at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix event, which including snowboarding events. Earlier this season the International Skiing Federation (FIS) sanctioned the Grand Prix events to award FIS points — as well as pro tour points — to participating athletes.

Pemberton's Yuki Tsubota was fifth in the slopestyle, while Ontario's Dara Howell was eighth.

On the men's side, Quebec's Alex Bellemare had his best finish yet in a pro competition while finishing second between Americans Tom Wallisch and Joss Christiansen.

"It feels awesome, I haven't felt this good in a while," said Bellemare. "It all happened on the rails for me today. I was pretty creative, with a high difficultly and a super-clean solid run. I'm from Quebec, so I love rails because we have no jumps to practice on there."

Charles Gagnier, coming back from an injury, was sixth.

In the ski halfpipe competition, Rosalind Groenewoud and Noah Bowman both finished their day with silver medals.

Groenewoud has won most of her events this year, but was okay finishing second to Brita Sigourney of the U.S. with the weather.

"We didn't have a lot of training because of the blizzard this week, so I wasn't that confident coming into the competition today," she said. "In my first run I had a few mistakes that I wanted to clean up on the second run. Unfortunately that didn't work out because I hit the deck and blew a binding off my ski (on my second run). But I'm okay and I'm happy."

Despite the blizzard, the weather also warmed up considerably and the halfpipe athletes were competing in 15 degrees Celsius.

As well as a silver medal, Groenewoud also won the prize for the highest air of the day at 14 feet (four metres), pocketing another $2,500.

On the men's side, Bowman is having the best season of his career with a silver medal at X Games — despite only qualifying for the event as an alternate.

Bowman landed is signature trick — an alley-oop double 900 spin — to earn a silver at Mammoth, but shied away from trying another new trick he's been working on.

"I had something else I wanted to try but I didn't end up doing it because I didn't feel confident going into the hit. I guess I thought it was better to keep it safe than to try something dangerous."

Matt Margetts had the highest air for the men, but finished his day in 11th. Mike Riddle was one spot back in 12th.

Next up for the halfpipe and slopestyle teams is the Euro X Games in France. In April they'll be in Whistler for the World Skiing Invitational/AFP World Tour Championships.

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