The first day of competition kicked off in the 2015 Canada Winter Games freestyle skiing event with B.C. pulling off a rare double gold win. And to top it off, B.C. also secured the silver in the men’s and a bronze in the women’s event.
Teal Harle, from Whistler, took home the top prize for the men while Elena Gaskell, out of Vernon, finished first place in the women’s. Both athletes dominated start to finish finishing first in qualifications and leading after each of the final runs. Rounding out the team’s incredible performances were Patrick Dew (Vernon) and Sofiane Gagnon (Whistler) taking home the silver and bronze respectively in their divisions.
The weather had been a challenge all week to the point that there were serious concerns about needing to postpone the slopestyle event. Friday, the athletes and coaches fought through a rainy training session that was cut short due to the need to preserve the course. However, Harle was pleasantly surprised by the conditions.
“Tabor Mountain surpassed my expectations…For how little snow was there, they killed it with the course.”
Both Harle and Gaskell will go for their second gold of the Games Sunday when the big air competition takes place. It will be tough though as they will have to compete with not only the athletes from the rest of the country, but the incredible depth of talent within their own ranks.
Dew and Gagnon are hot on their heels in addition to Noah Spence (Penticton), Kyle Parker (Port Moody), Mackenzie Schwinghamer (Kelowna), and Madison Parker (Port Moody).