Heil leads powerhouse freestyle ski team 

CFSA planning to defend Nations Cup title, score medals at world championships

Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Jennifer Heil leads a powerful Canadian freestyle ski team that was named Friday for the 2006-07 season.

The Canadian team topped the FIS Nations Cup as the top freestyle ski team in the world this year, and heading into the 2007 FIS World Championships and in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association wants to continue to build on last winter’s momentum.

"This is a team that should be able to both defend the FIS Nations Cup and be a real force at the 2007 FIS World Championships," said Gord Hopper, CFSA’s director of high performance. "We are working with a group of athletes who have had Olympic experience and are young enough to be in a prime position for the 2010 Olympics. We are very excited as we continue our build up for 2010."

In addition to Heil, the women’s World Cup mogul team includes Whistler’s Sylvia Kerfoot, Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C., Jackie Brown of Cambridge, Ont., Audrey Robichaud and Stéphanie St-Pierre of Quebec.

The men’s World Cup mogul team has a strong Quebec contingent, including Alexandre Bilodeau, Vincent Marquis, Marc-André Moreau, Pierre-Alexandre Rosseau and Jean-Francois Therrien. Chris Wong of Prince George and Warren Tanner of Grimsby, Ont. round out the World Cup team.

The national development mogul team includes B.C. skiers Jennifer and Garrett Simm of Prince George and Matthew Crosby of Summerland.

The women’s World Cup aerial team is led by veteran Veronika Bauer of Calgary and includes Deidra Dionne of Red Deer, Alta. and Amber Peterson of Thunder Bay, Ont.

The men’s World Cup aerial squad is made up of Ontario and Alberta skiers, including Ontarians Jeff Bean and Steve Omischl and Albertans Ryan Blais, Klye Nissen, Warren Shouldice and Cord Spero.

British Columbians going to Aerial FlightSchool (the aerial development team) are Rebecca Graham of Abbotsford and Jay Nachbaur of Prince George.

Some members of the Canadian freestyle ski team are expected to take part in a training camp utilizing the Blackcomb water ramps in August. The World Cup freestyle season gets underway in September in Australia.

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