'X' marks the spot for the Sharpe siblings of Comox as they head to Aspen, Colorado for this weekend's (Jan. 28-31) Winter X Games.
Both Darcy and Cassie were in action this past week, with Darcy posting a fourth-place finish at the 2016 LAAX Open snowboard competition in Switzerland.
It was part of a dominating performance by Canadians that included taking all five top spots in one of the biggest competitions of the season.
Tyler Nicholson (North Bay) and Sebastien Toutant (L’Assomption, QC) landed in second and third while Sharpe was followed by Mikey Ciccarelli (Ancaster, ON) in fifth. Courtenay's Spencer O’Brien was the only Canadian female in the final and finished fifth.
This is the best ever result for the Canadian slopestyle team, which now heads into the X Games with a major confidence boost and a whole bunch of swagger.
Meanwhile, the 2016 VISA U.S. Grand Prix did not go as smoothly as freestyle ski athletes would have liked. An abbreviated version of the women’s halfpipe finals took place Friday and Cassie Sharpe came in sixth place after being able to perform only one run.
Difficult weather conditions forced event organizers to call the event off Friday afternoon in Mammoth, California. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the halfpipe finals took place Friday morning and each woman in the field was able to complete one run.
In her only run of the day, Sharpe scored a 38.60 after clipping the deck. “Every year Mammoth brings a storm during the Grand Prix, but today was especially really hard and really windy. It wasn’t the best conditions out there and I didn’t catch enough speed to perform my cork-nine," Sharpe said.
"Not being able to complete my run the way I wanted to threw me off a bit. The conditions weren’t great for everyone though. It just too bad we didn’t get one extra run.” Sharpe had originally made it to the six-woman final after finished third during qualifiers with a score of 83.40.
Sharpe will be one of seven Canadian freestyle ski team members in Aspen for the Winter X Games.
Canada will have representation in every freestyle skiing event.
Sharpe, who took the tour by storm over the last year and finished second at Dew Tour in December, is looking forward to the trip. “It’s really exciting and an amazing feeling knowing that I will be going to my first X Games,” she said.
"I’ve never been a part of an event this big. It’s such a massive production. Before halfpipe became a part of the Olympic Games, the X Games was the event everyone in our sport aimed for. It was always a dream and now it has become reality. I’m really going to go and soak in the whole experience.”
The X Games will not feature any qualifiers. Each event will have one final and a best-of-three run format. A total of 12 men will compete in each of the ski superpipe and slopestyle competitions. The women’s field will only feature eight in each event. A full schedule can be found here.