A Serious Week of Snowboarding

A Serious Week of Snowboarding

By Job Patsone 

Last week LifeinQuebec.com announced the presentation of the FIS World Championship competition being held in Quebec City from Jan 15 ‘till Jan 27 and as usual, we’re back with a follow up to keep you up to date.

Japan_SnowboarderIn all, 47 countries participated in the six different disciplines included in the event which are, Slopestyle (SBS), Halfpipe (HP), Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS), Parallel Slalom (PSL), Big Air (BA), and Snowboardcross (SBX).

To host a venue of this size it requires an army of employees and volunteers alike and in total there are about 500 people working on logistics and scheduling during the two weeks this sporting activity takes place.

Japan sent their best man Shuhei, rated second best in the world, seen here after his run down the Halfpipe with thumbs up and a smile. Lisa Yaniuck from Belarus was participating for the first time in the Slopestyle competition and told me “as long as I make it down without falling I’ll be happy”.

One thing I noticed when conversing with these young athletes was their complete carefree attitude towards their performance. For them it’s their job and duty to perform well, but they all agreed you can have good days and bad days and hopefully the good day was the one that counted. Another thing they all had in common was their passion for what they are doing.

The weather was not too co-operative during the competition being frightfully cold (no kidding -20c and lower all week – Ed.), or snowing like mad, causing some of the events to be rescheduled, as a matter of fact in talking to Nathan Johnston from Australia, who was Halfpipe World Champion in 2011, he told me that at -18c it was just too cold to continue practicing and he would just take his chances on race day. Athletes, as do their coaches, prefer to be in good shape for the finals rather than risk the chance of injuries, which could put them out of the running completely.

Snowboard_Stoneham_2013_1Canada has some hopefuls in all six disciplines including Mike McMorris, who finished second (Silver) in the Slopestyle, and Spencer O’Brien (2012 Champion) who won first place (Gold) for the women in the same field.

Other names of importance for Canada are Maxence Parrot (BA), and Mercedes Nicoll (HP);Interesting to note that all the competitors from this country, with the exception of Mike McMorris who’s from Saskatchewan, are from British Columbia or Québec.

Big Air seems to be the attraction that pulls in the most spectators because it’s dramatic and impressive with its high flying acrobatics, and being located right downtown makes it much more accessible for spectators.  It always ends up with a big outdoor party with music, dancing and a lot of fun. This years’ winner was Roote Tonteri from Finland, who no doubt joined the party after his victory.

Personally I like the halfpipe for its high flying tubers who just seem to defeat the odds and go higher and higher every time, sort of like living on the edge (of the pipe) with every descent. The men’s winner this time around was Iouri Podladtchikov AKA ‘I-Pod’ as he’s known in the circuit from Switzerland, with the Japanese coming in second. In the women’s round it was the 16-year old American, Arielle Gold, who appropriately took the ‘gold’. No Canadians figured in the top three in the halfpipe event.

The last weekend finishes up with the parallel races which are also fast and dangerous consisting of ‘boarders’ racing down a predetermined course two and three abreast for the fastest time. Collisions are frequent as Dominique Maltais can testify, having been taken out in a spectacular fashion in the latest Olympics, where two of the contestants crashed and took her with them, leaving one racer to finish. Canada has some hopefuls for the last weekend of competition in the likes of Jasey-Jay Anderson (QC), Dominique Maltais (QC) and Caroline Calvé also from Québec, all being homegrown favorites. These races (SBX,PSL,PGS) can be seen at Stoneham Ski Centre Jan.25th, 26th and 27th. Here’s hoping the weather co-operates for everyone and maybe we’ll even see one of our Canadians win that precious golden snowflake.

For all the results and activities to come, check out www.quebecstoneham2013.com

Categories: News, Sports

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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