A smiling Cassie Sharpe stands atop the podium after winning gold in the halfpipe at a World Cup event in France.

Cassie Sharpe wins gold at World Cup halfpipe in France

Great way to end freestyle ski season with Canadian team

Cassie Sharpe won the gold medal at a World Cup freestyle skiing competition Thursday, March 12 in Tignes, France.

Sharpe, of Comox, finished first in the women’s halfpipe event with a score of 93.80.

The event marked the end of the 2014-2015 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season. The Canadian team was coming off competing at the Canadian Open championships in Calgary, where Sharpe finished second.

For Sharpe, it was the first World Cup victory for the 22-year-old. A 2015 World Championship silver medallist, Sharpe soared to an impressive score of 93.80 to beat a stacked field that included Olympic and X Games medallists.

In second was the most recent Olympic bronze medallist from Japan, Ayana Ozonuka, who scored 90.40. Ozonuka sits atop the World Cup standings with 240 points while Sharpe is fourth with 145 points. Third went to X Games bronze medallist Brita Sigourney, from the USA, who finished with a score of 86.40.

“I’m so stoked about the run I put down,” said Sharpe. “It was a lot fun.  My riding has definitely improved and I’ve become a stronger skier since the World Championships. Just making the finals was a huge accomplishment with this field. It was really stacked.

“It definitely a good feeling knowing that I can compete with this group and I can mix it up a bit with them. It’s fun knowing that I can challenge these girls.”

Sharpe has attributed a lot of her success to pushing herself with new tricks including a left cork nine that no other woman is currently doing. The trick made its debut at the Canadian Open last week and helped Sharpe finish second in Calgary.

“It’s a great way to end the World Cup season,” said Trennon Paynter, head coach of the halfpipe team. “Cassie’s run was pretty mind blowing. Her upside down and above the pipe trick was higher than any woman ever. She made history for the sport today. Everyone was so impressed by it. It was great to be a part of it and see her first major victory.”

“She really hit a new gear here. The best of the best came to Tignes and Cassie came out on top. To have her on the team as a new athlete and to see her progress has been really cool.”

Meanwhile, after an unseasonably warm start to winter, the Canadian snowboardcross team was finally able to start the 2015 FIS Snowboardcross World Cup season in Veysonnaz, Switzerland this past weekend.

 

Carle Brenneman of Courtenay was listed as one of the Canadian athletes to watch but was disqualified in her quarter-final run.

 

 

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