From Alpine Canada: The Canadian Para Alpine Ski Team had a wildly successful season with four athletes achieving World Cup podium results and two athletes capturing Crystal Globes. This year’s team faced a refresh after the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, bringing new and talented athletes to the team. Expectations for this year’s younger and less experienced team were far exceeded as they captured a total of three Crystal Globes and 22 IPC World Cup podiums.
“At the end of last season the athletes and staff went to a team building camp with CANU in Montreal to redefine who we wanted to be and I think the camp really helped set the stage for this season,” said Matt Hallat, interim Athletic Director for Para Alpine. “The athletes have taken on more this season than in the past and are showing huge gains and progress on the circuit.”
Mac Marcoux, along with his brother and guide BJ Marcoux, dominated the IPC World Cup speed series landing on the podium four times in downhill and four times in Super G. These impressive results were good enough to land the boys the coveted Crystal Globe in both disciplines. The Marcoux’s finished the season with a total of five wins and four second-place finishes. The dynamic duo continue to set the standard in the visually impaired category on the circuit.
“I feel like this season went exceptionally well all things considered. The plan for the 2015-16 season was to take a step back and work towards finishing high school. The decision to train less made it much more difficult to set solid goals,” said Mac Marcoux of his season. “The season kicked off with a rocky start but we pushed ard and worked our way into the speed events with confidence. BJ and I are thrilled to win the Super G and downhill Crystal Globes! Overall, we are beyond stoked on the outcome of this season and getting school out of the way this June is also very exciting. Huge thanks to coaches, physios, ski techs and all who have supported us throughout another amazing season! Can’t wait to get home and get back at ‘er!”
Kurt Oatway had a breakout season stepping up to challenges and setting the example for putting it together on race day. Oatway not only had a career-first podium, but he landed on the podium a total of five times, four of those finishes in first-place. Oatway’s performance in downhill was consistent and strong leading him to claim the Crystal Globe in the sitting category.
“I made a lot of changes this season that led to my to success. I changed everything from the sit ski and sit ski set up to training tactics, all of which played a role in helping me improve this year,” said Oatway on his breakout season. “My expatiations going into this season was to get one IPC World Cup podium and I ended up with five medals and three overall medals including one Crystal Globe. I still think there is room for improvement in certain disciplines but I still consider this season an immense success. A sincere thank you goes out to all my coaches, tech, physios, and team mates that helped me through out the season!”
Alana Ramsay, 21-year-old team rookie, proved she’s a versatile racer and impressed the field with seven podium finishes this season, capturing medals in slalom, giant slalom and super G disciplines. These podium finishes also came as a career-first for Ramsay, showing great promise as the team heads into preparation for next year’s World Championships and the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.
With the World Championships approaching next year, along with the 2018 PyeongChang test event, the team has raised the bar for success on the world stage. “We can no longer fly under the radar and the team will face new challenges but I’m confident we can continue to succeed,” said Hallat.
The team will be competing at the 2016 Sport Chek Canadian Championships from March 26 through March 29 at Whistler Blackcomb.