Cassie Sharpe with national freestyle ski team in California
The Comox Valley's Cassie Sharpe is one of 15 Canadian Freestyle Ski Team members scheduled to compete at the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California from Jan. 21-25.
The Canadian team's first comp of 2016 is a FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup and Association of Freeskiing Professional Platinum Level event that serves as a tune-up for athletes competing at the X Games later this month in Aspen, Colorado.
Halfpipe athletes open the Grand Prix with qualifications beginning on Thursday. The team is coming off of a training camp at Winsport, Canada’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, where they were able to ski at one of the most impressive pipes around the world.
“Having access to the facilities at Winsport was a real game changer for us,” said Sharpe, one of two female halfpipe racers on the national team.
“Training close to home is really awesome. There was a lot of focus on perfecting my run, including workings on things like amplitude and grabs. All the things the judges look for in the ‘perfect’ run. Leading up to my first X Games, I’m really just trying to land everything clean and have as much fun doing it as possible.”
Last year’s event was an abbreviated one due to poor weather conditions. The finals were cancelled due to heavy snowfall. Athletes were only able to compete during qualifiers, with the top score being awarded the win.