Copper Mountain, USA, December 7, 2018 – Reigning Half-Pipe World Cup Champion Cassie Sharpe picked up where she left off at the first event of the 2018-19 season in her discipline, Friday, as she finished second at Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Sharpe earned second place with 90.50 points, to finish less than three points away from the winner, Estonia's Kelly Sildaru (93.00). The 26-year-old athlete therefore picked up the sixth podium result of her career on the World Cup circuit. She registered three of those wins last season, which led to her winning her first-ever Crystal Globe shortly after being crowned Olympic champion in half-pipe.
“I'm really excited to start the season off with a podium. It was a good contest, and it was really fun to have Kelly there and put some fire under the skis,” said Sharpe. “I tried to ski my best, I definitely have some Copper voodoo jitters that I was trying to get over from, so I was definitely happy to put down a run and reach the podium.”
Canada came close to having a second athlete out on the podium as the other Canadian in contention in the women's half-pipe event, Rachael Karker, came up fourth with 86.00 points, two points away from bronze medalist Brita Sigourney of the United States (88.00).
“I am happy with my finals, I was a little bummed to get bumped out of third on that last run but overall, I am satisfied,” said Karker. “My plan now is to clean up my landings and to improve on my grabs. I am looking forward to the next event!”
This is Karker's best career result, as the 21-year-old athlete from Erin, Ontario, who was part of the Canadian team's NextGen program until last season, only officially joined the senior World Cup team this season. Up until now, her best result in nine World Cup starts since 2015 had been a seventh-place finish on January 19, 2018 at Mammoth Mountain, USA.
On the men's side, Simon d'Artois, the sole Canadian to reach Friday's final round after Wednesday's qualifications, came in sixth with 79.50 points.
The next World Cup stage for members of the Canadian half-pipe team will take place Dec. 20-22 in Secret Garden, China. Meanwhile, a few athletes from the team will compete on the Dew Tour.
The complete 2018-19 schedule for half-pipe events can be found here.
Ladies : Cassie Sharpe (2), Rachael Karker (4)
Men : Simon d'Artois (6), Noah Bowman (11), Dylan Marineau (14), Finn Young (20), Brendan Mackay (30), Evan Marineau (36), Sam McKeown (37)
• Dew Tour – Dec. 13-16: Breckenridge, USA (Slopestyle/Half-Pipe)
• FIS World Cup – Dec. 15-16: Thaiwoo, China (Moguls)
• FIS World Cup – Dec. 20-22: Secret Garden, China (Half-Pipe)