Cassie Sharpe.

Comox skier Cassie Sharpe wins World Cup gold medal in halfpipe

Island product peaking just in time for Olympics

Cassie Sharpe was tired of waiting to unleash her latest trick in competition.

So with a World Cup victory assured on Friday, the freestyle skier from Comox used her third and final run down the halfpipe in Snowmass, Colo., to test out her cork 1080 — a full three-rotation spin while flipping upside down in mid-air — and she nailed it.

Sharpe scored a whopping 93.20 points on that run, which also included a right-cork 900 and a left-cork 700, for her second straight win and third of the season.

“I’ve kinda kept it under wraps for two or three months now,” Sharpe said of the cork 1080. “I’ve been training it, I’ve been trying it and every contest I’d always tell (my team): ‘I want to do this trick, I want to do it.’ And they kept telling me to hold back on it because my run was winning without it and I don’t need it.

“But I felt right today, I felt like: ‘I’ve already won, I might as well bump my own score and do the trick that I’ve really wanted to do.’”

The 25-year-old Sharpe bested second-place American Brita Sigourney (89.20) by four points. Japan’s Ayana Onozuka was third with 87.

Sharpe also won gold at a World Cup in New Zealand in September and took first place at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., last month.

With the Winter Olympics just four weeks away, she feels she’s starting to peak at the right time.

“It’s such a confidence-booster and it really allows me to reign in on my tricks,” said Sharpe, who’s racked up enough points on the World Cup circuit to secure her spot in her first Olympic Games even though Canada’s freestyle team won’t officially be announced for another week.

“I know I can do these tricks but if I can add a grab or make it more technical, give it more style, I have time (to work on that). I’ve got the tricks to win the contest but I’m really excited to be able to put more time into each one of them before the Games.”

Noah Bowman was the top Canadian on the men’s halfpipe with a fourth-place finish. Mike Riddle, the defending Olympic silver medallist from Sherwood Park, Alta., was fifth.

Americans David Wise, Alex Ferreira and Aaron Blunck swept the podium.

Sharpe will skip the next World Cup stop before the Olympics — in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., next weekend — choosing instead to spend the week training in Calgary. She will compete at the X Games in Aspen, Colo., at the end of January before heading to Pyeongchang.

— Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Comox Valley schools project student enrolment increase

Council briefs: School district board meeting, May 22

New look and name for Comox Valley school district

The Comox Valley school district is sporting a fresh look after the… Continue reading

Vanier basketball star earns scholarship with University of Saskatchewan Huskies

Levi Timmermans was the Towhees’ leading scorer and MVP this season, as well as an Island all-star

Hospice care to remain at The Views until purpose-built location is completed in 2020

The four community hospice beds at The Views facility at the St.… Continue reading

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Stage 3 water restrictions May 28 to June 1

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 restrictions on… Continue reading

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic early Friday morning

Most Read