Two B.C. snowboarders are among the five-member contingent of Canada’s snowboarding team at next month’s Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Three-time Olympian and Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medallist Maëlle Ricker from West Vancouver will lead this year’s young team into the Sochi Games, while first-time Olympians Mark McMorris (Regina, SK), Sébastien Toutant (L’Assomption, QC), Spencer O’Brien (Courtenay, BC) and Chris Robanske (Calgary, AB) are all aiming to make a strong first impression on Olympic soil.
At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Canadian snowboarders earned two Olympic gold medals (Jasey-Jay Anderson and Maëlle Ricker) and one silver medal (Mike Robertson) from three men’s and women’s events.
“These five athletes show that Canada is one of the leading nations in competitive snowboarding,” said Steven Hills, Executive Director at Canada Snowboard. “They are currently recognized as the best in the world in both slopestyle and snowboard cross. I am confident that their hard work and passion for snowboarding will place them on the podium and assist the Canadian Olympic Team in gaining top spot in Sochi.”
“I’m very proud to be part of this talented group of athletes and have the chance to represent Canada at another Olympic Games,” said Maëlle Ricker, current Snowboard Cross World Champion. “The entire Canada Snowboard coaching team and support staff has been working hard to make sure we are fully prepared and ready for success in Sochi.”
The competitive snowboard season began in December and the Canadian team did not go unnoticed. The men’s Slopestyle team placed three athletes in the top four at the prestigious Dew Tour in Colorado while the Snowboard Cross team has been on the podium at every World Cup race this season.
“There is a tremendous amount of talent and potential in this fantastic group of athletes, and I know that each of them will give Canadians reason to cheer in Sochi,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “When it comes to snowboarding, Canada has a great reputation at the Olympic Games. I have full confidence that Maëlle, Mark, Sébastien, Spencer and Chris will be able to compete and challenge the best in the world in their respective disciplines.”
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend for the top spot in overall medals won.
“Canada is honoured that this group of athletes will represent our country at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi,” said Member of Parliament Wai Young (Vancouver South). “Canadians will cheer you on as you showcase to the world our nation’s greatest snowboarding talents. Congratulations for making the team! We are all very proud of you.”
These Canadian snowboarders now join 10 speed skating athletes, 10 curling athletes, 16 bobsledders, seven lugers, four skeleton athletes, 21 women hockey players and eight biathletes as the next members on the Canadian Olympic Team. Up to twelve more teams will be announced between now and February, including the rest of the snowboard team who will be announced on January 21st in Quebec City.
List of snowboard athletes nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:
|Maëlle||Ricker||West Vancouver, BC|
Source/Image: Canada Snowboard