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The competitive snowboard season and the beginning of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games selection period bega in earnest with an FIS snowboardcross event in Montafon, Austria.
This is just one event of a jam-packed December that will see the Canada Snowboard national teams putting what they trained this summer to test on the international stage, a Canada Snowboard press release states.
Canada Snowboard High Performance director Bob Joncas said he can’t wait for the season to get started, “Because of all the time and preparation we put in this summer with dryland and training camps I strongly believe all our disciplines are ready to rock and to put their athletes on the podium. Put it this way, they’ve worked hard, now they’re ready to kick some butt. This year we’re going to show the rest of the world that Canada has what it takes to put us on top in Sochi.”
Two Comox Valley athletes are on the national teams: Carle Brenneman of Comox is with the eight-person snowboardcross squad while Darcy Sharpe of Comox is part of the 12-man slopestyle team.
Canada Snowboard notes Sharpe was raised in mountain culture and began snowboarding at the age of five. He grew up in Comox where his dad works at Mount Washington Alpine resort. His older brother works in Asia at a ski resort, while his sister competes in freestyle skiing.
"Darcy made the move to Whistler at a young age to train with the Whistler Valley Snowboard Academy. No stranger to standing on top of podiums, Darcy’s best achievement this season was placing second at the FIS Junior World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. Darcy is definitely a force to be reckoned with as he continues to train hard towards the 2014 Winter Games."
Brenneman's Canada Snowboard profile notes the Neil Daffern award winner is a bright, young up-and-comer on the snowboardcross scene.
"Carle had a breakthrough season on the FIS World Cup Tour last season. After getting some helpful hints from stars Maltais and Ricker, Brenneman proved herself at last year’s National Championships, demonstrating that she is ready to take her career to the next level."
The snowboardcross national team was in Austria for its first World Cup of the season in Montafon on Dec. 7 followed by a team event the next day.
With snowboard slopestyle making its Olympic debut in 2014, all eyes will be on this event at January’s World Championships to see what Canada’s team is capable of on the rails and jumps.
Coach Chris Witwicki said the Dew Cup (Dec. 14-16 in Breckenridge, CO) would be a litmus test as it would be the first big competition of the year and an Olympic selection event to boot.
“We have been working hard on consistency and competition readiness,” said Witwicki, “We expect our World Cup athletes to be consistently in the top-10 this year.”
– Canada Snowboard