Ski jumping returning to WOP 

Sports briefs: Canadians shine at Whistler Sliding Centre

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Hitting the jump A young ski jumper takes flight at an FIS Cup at Whistler Olympic Park in 2016.
  • File photo by Dan Falloon
  • Hitting the jump A young ski jumper takes flight at an FIS Cup at Whistler Olympic Park in 2016.

Some of the world's top ski jumpers will grace Whistler Olympic Park next month.

From Dec. 7 to 10, the men on the Continental Cup tour will leap off their runs in the Callaghan Valley.

In a release, Ski Jumping Canada president Tom Reid said the event would be the biggest in Canada since the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The Continental Cup is a development circuit for the World Cup, meaning some of the best up-and-comers, including a number of Canadians, should be in attendance.

"Athletes require FIS Cup points before they can compete at the Continental Cup level. In order to qualify for the World Cup circuit, athletes must have at least one Continental Cup point," Reid said in the release. "Because our Canadian athletes train so often in Whistler, they're very familiar with the hill. This could give them the edge they need to jump well and obtain those extremely valuable points."

Ultimately, hosting the events is part of a bigger-picture plan to attract World Cup competition to our country.

"This is all part of a long-term effort to return World Cup competition to Canada," Reid noted. "Our next goal is to host a Women's World Cup at Whistler within the next year or two. Ensuring these events run smoothly will help put Canada back on the map with FIS and serve to leverage a growing interest in ski jumping in BC and Alberta. We've got some terrific young talent in Canada, but we can only benefit from more kids becoming involved."

FIS Cup competition for men and women is slated for Dec. 7 and 8 while the Continental Cup competition for men will go on Dec. 9 and 10.

For more information, visit www.skijumpingcanada.com.

Johnson takes NAC medals

Emerging B.C. bobsledder Julie Johnson took home two medals, including a gold, during North American Cup action at the Whistler Sliding Centre from Nov. 4 to 7.

Sliding with Alecia Beckford-Stewart, Johnson secured the win over Jamaica's Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell on Nov. 6 after tying for third alongside Sara Dagenais-Everell the day prior, placing 0.06 seconds back of South Korea's Yooran Kim and Minseong Kim.

Other Canadian medallists included Jeff McKeen and Keefer Joyce taking second to Youngjin Suk and Hoon Ji of South Korea on Nov. 4, Grace Dafoe winning the women's skeleton race on Nov. 5, Taylor Austin and Ryan Sommer capturing the men's bobsleigh race the same day, and Austin, Sommer, Joyce and Cody Bolotniuk taking third in the men's four-man race on Nov. 6.

Canadian skeleton racers also shone at the Intercontinental Cup on Nov. 4 and 5. In the competition, which is a tier higher, Lanette Prediger and Madison Charney were first and second on Nov. 5 after Prediger was second the day before. On the men's side, Killian von Schleinitz captured both races as Germans won five of six medals over the two days.

Full results are online at www.ibsf.org.

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