Brittany Schussler among speed skaters hoping to qualify
Competition to watch around the world this weekend
The Canadian speed skating trials in Calgary, Alta., highlight the international scene this weekend, as Olympic hopefuls continue their road to Sochi. Here's a quick list of events to watch over the next few days:
Speed Skating: Canadian Olympic speed skating time trials are underway at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Alta. Two-time Olympic medallist Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., looks to secure a spot in the 1,500 m event. He needs to finish in the top 4 after failing to qualify in the 1,000 m race. Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., will look to secure her spot in the women’s 1,500 m on Thursday.
On Friday, the scene shifts to the distance racers with Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg lead the women’s contenders while Toronto’s Jordan Belchos and Lukas Makowsky of Regina are in contention on the men’s side.
Moguls: The World Cup tour returns from a holiday break giving Canadians a chance to compete on home soil. Canada’s best moguls athletes will compete on Friday at Calgary Olympic Park. Mikael Kingsbury of Deux-Montagnes, Que., looks to continue his success after winning a World Cup event in Ruka, Finland before the holidays. Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau of Montreal, Que., will also be competing in the men’s event.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal, Que., looks to build on her silver medal win in Ruka.
Halfpipe: Canada’s ski halfpipe team continue their season at Calgary Olympic Park on Saturday. Veteran Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta., leads the Canadian contingent with teammates Justin Dorey and Matt Margetts also finishing strong so far this season.
On the women’s side, Canada without veteran Rosalind Groenewoud who recently underwent minor surgery in both knees. Groenewoud is expected to make a full recovery in time to compete in Sochi.
Luge: The luge season continues with women’s, men’s, doubles and a team relay on Saturday and Sunday in Konigsee, Germany. Notable Canadians competing Alex Gough, Sam Edney and Justin Snith, of Calgary, Alta., along with Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta. All of the above athletes were officially named to Canada’s Olympic luge team for the Sochi 2014 Games on Dec. 17.
Alpine Skiing: The alpine season continues with a ladies’ slalom on Sunday in Bormio, Italy. The races were originally schedule to run in Zagreb, Croatia, but were moved to Bormio because of mild weather conditions. Notable Canadians competing are Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., and Erin Mielzynski of Guelph, Ont.
The men’s season continues on Monday in Bormio, with a slalom race. Canadian’s Julien Cousineau of Lachute, Que., Brad Spence of Calgary, Alta., and Mike Hanyk of Whistler, B.C., look to earn valuable World Cup points ahead of the Olympics in Sochi.
Cross-Country: The cross-country World Cup season continues in Cortina, Italy, with men’s and women’s freestyle races taking place on Friday. The scene then shifts to Val Fiemme, Italy, for men’s and women’s classic races on Saturday and men’s and women’s free races on Sunday.
Alex Harvey of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., is third after four of seven events. Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., currently sits eighth in the standings. The final stage of the tour takes place on Sunday.
Bobsleigh: World Cup bobsleigh competition continues on Friday with a men’s 2-man in Winterberg, German. Lyndon Rush and Chris Spring are scheduled to compete for Canada. The pair will also compete in the men’s 4-man event on Saturday. The Canadians will be in against tough competition with U.S. pilot Steven Holcomb scheduled to race. Holcomb has won every race, two and four man this season.
On Sunday, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse will look to stay atop the podium in the women’s 2-man race. The men will also have another chance with a second 4-man race following the women.
Skeleton: The skeleton World Cup season continues on Friday in Winterberg, Germany, on Friday. Canadians Eric Neilson of Kelowna, B.C., and John Fairbairn of Calgary, Alta., will be competing along with Dave Greszczyszyn of Burlington, Ont., who looks to qualify to represent Canada as the third men’s sled. He currently sits 32 points ahead of fellow Canadian Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., in the world rankings.
The women will compete on Saturday in Winterberg with Sarah Reid of Calgary, Alta., and Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., expected to compete.
On Sunday, Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., and Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., will compete at an Intercontinental Cup race in Whistler, B.C.
Ski Jumping: Canada’s best ski jump athletes will be in action across the Atlantic this weekend. Women’s competition takes place Saturday in Chaikovskiy, Russia. Atsuko Tanaka and Taylor Henrich of Calgary, Alta., will be representing Canada in competition.
Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes is expected to compete when the men jump on Satuday in Innsbruck, Austra.
Nordic Combined: The World Cup competition continues with an event in Russia on Saturday and Sunday.