Vancouver, BC, October 30, 2017 – Freestyle Canada is pleased to unveil the names of the athletes that will be part of the NextGen group for the 2017-2018 season. These promising, young athletes will compete mainly on the North--American circuit and some will have a chance to attend select World Cup events.
To uphold its competitive performance, Freestyle Canada continues to develop a training and mentoring program that allows young athletes to rise to the top of their discipline and join the ranks of World Cup groups.
“Our objective with the athletes of this group is that they dominate the Nor-Am circuit and learn to compete at the world stage so that they can have a good chance to reach the podium at major events in three to eight years,” states Julie Steggall, Director of the High-Performance Athlete Development Program.
Organizations such as Own The Podium, Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute network provide the critical support required to encourage the development of athletes in Freestyle Canada’s NextGen program. Thanks to venue partners such as WinSport, Val St-Côme, Centre Acrobatx and Whistler Blackcomb, Freestyle Canada’s NextGen athletes have the opportunity to train at world-class facilities.
“Each of our partners provides crucial support to the NextGen program and it is a big part of why our athletes have been successful in the past seasons,” explains David Mirota, Vice President Sport for Freestyle Canada. “Thanks to their support, we are in a position to offer these athletes a training program of their own with dedicated coaches and top-tier sports facilities.”
During the last season, many Canadian athletes stood out on the Nor-Am circuit with great performances that earned them a top-3 spot in the overall 2017 standings: Sofia Tchernetsky (1) in slopestyle, Berkley Brown (1) in moguls, Philippe Langevin (1) and Patrick Dew (2) in Men’s slopestyle. It is also interesting to note that Elena Gaskell was the first 14-year-old Canadian athlete to take part in a FIS World Cup competition last year in Stoneham – her first – and that Sofia Tchernetsky is the youngest to have participated in a FIS World Cup competition thanks to her first overall ranking in slopestyle on the Nor-Am circuit in 2017. A couple of NextGen athletes had good showings on the FIS World Cup circuit with top 10 finishes. Mark Hendrickson placed 6th at the Big Air event in Quebec City at his second FIS Freestyle World Cup start. He had previously earned a 10th place finish at the Seiser Alm FIS World Cup where his teammate Noah Morrison fell just short of the podium finishing 4th. The FIS junior World Championships in Valmalenco also sparked top 10 performances: in Aerials, Felix Cormier-Boucher (8), Berkley Brown (4 & 8) and Sofiane Gagnon (6 & 10) respectively in dual and single moguls and Sofia Tchernetsky (9) in slopestyle.
The events calendar for NextGen athletes is available here.
Here are the Freestyle Canada NextGen teams for the 2017-2018 season:
Ladies: Berkley Brown, Sofiane Gagnon, Valérie Gilbert
Men: Robbie Andison, Kerrian Chunland, Gabriel Dufresne, Matt Joosten, Brendan Kelly, Jordan Kober, Simon Lemieux, Ryan Portello, Luke Ulsifer, Elliott Vaillancourt
Guillaume Turgeon, Geneviève Tougas
Men: Felix Boucher-Cormier
Nicolas Fontaine, Rémi Bélanger
Ladies: Nikki Blackall, Elena Gaskell, Sofia Tchernetsky
Men: Patrick Dew, Mark Hendrickson, Philippe Langevin, Max Moffatt, Noah Morrison, Matt Wilcox
Jeremy Cooper, Gabriel Leclerc
Ladies: Rachael Karker, Rachael Anderson
Men: Dylan Marineau, Evan Marineau, Sam McKeown, Finnian Young
Jeremy Cooper, Gabriel Leclerc