Alpine Canada announced the 12 skiers nominated to Team Canada for the upcoming FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Panorama, B.C., March 1-9, 2022.
This World Junior’s event brings together the best junior ski racers (born between 2001 and 2005), providing experience and international exposure to athletes identified as high-performance development level athletes.
The 2022 Canadian FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships women’s roster includes:
Arianne Forget (18) – Belle Neige S1 Racing, QC
Britt Richardson (18) – Calgary Alpine Racing Club, AB / Burke Mountain Academy
Cassidy Gray (21) – Team Panorama Ski Club, B.C.
Justine Lamontagne (19) – Mont-Ste-Anne, QC
Kiara “Kiki” Alexander (20) – Sunshine Village, AB
Sarah Bennett (20) – Club de Ski Stoneham, QC
This group includes recent World Cup newcomers such as Gray, Richardson, Bennett and Alexander. Gray and Bennett will also be leading the women’s contingent competing in their second World Juniors.
Gray, who hails from Invermere, B.C., leads the team after launching herself into Canadian ski racing’s elite in 2020-21 when she made her World Cup debut in Kranjska Gora (SLO) as a 19-year-old. In just her second World Cup race season, Gray is a strong contender for the podium at the World Juniors.
“Having a major event like World Juniors in Panorama is a dream for every local kid, so I am especially excited because regardless of the racing, it’s going to be my favorite World Juniors so far.,” said local skier, Gray, who will be competing on home snow after competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
“We have a strong group of athletes, and the coaching staff is amazing,” adds Gray. “We’ve set ourselves up to have a great race series and I am excited to see what everyone can do,” adds the promising skier who claimed her first World Cup points with an impressive 26th place finish in her second-ever World Cup giant slalom last season. “To have my family there and know so many people involved in the event will be the cherry on the icing,” she concludes.
The 2022 Canadian FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships men’s roster includes:
Etienne Mazellier (20) – Club de Ski Stoneham, QC
Gerrit Van Soest (20) – Okanagan Ski Team/Vernon Ski Club, B.C.
Logan Dunn (21) – Nakiska Alpine Ski Association, AB
Nathan Romanin (20) – Whistler Mountain Ski Club, B.C.
Raphael Lessard (20) – Bromont Ski Club, QC
Tait Jordan (19) – Whistler Mountain Ski Club, B.C.
Lessard will be leading the group as the only Canadian competing in his third World Juniors, with all other male athletes making their first-time appearances at this event.
With his nomination to the Canadian team, Van Soest is following in his big sister Katrina’s footsteps. Katrina made her World Cup debut in Lake Louise at the end of 2021.
Similarly, Jordan joins his big brother Asher who has been representing Canada on the international stage since 2018 as a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. Jordan has raced at Panorama in the past, setting a career-high 6th place super-G finish in the Nor-Am Cup race in December 2021.
“Representing Canada on home soil is very exciting,” said Jordan. “I feel like I have the speed to really compete”.
Jeff Thompson, Vice-President, Domestic Sport Programs and Events for Alpine Canada is eager to get this team racing at Panorama, comfortable and confident with the environment and positioned to achieve their best results of the season.
“We are very excited about this group of young, up and coming athletes,” said Thompson. “They represent a very talented group of U21 athletes that the country, provinces and clubs have cultivated, and we believe will be very competitive against this world-class international field,” he added.
The first time Canada hosted World Juniors was in 2000 at Mont-Ste-Anne, QC. Since then, Mont-Ste-Anne and Le Massif, QC have held the event again in 2006 and 2013. This year marks the first time Canada hosts the world’s best U21 racers in the West.
The last Canadian athlete to medal at World Juniors is Sam Mulligan in the men’s downhill in 2018 at Davos, Switzerland.
Canada’s 12 skiers will be on the hunt for medals in downhill, super-G, slalom, and giant slalom, as well as the team parallel events. Races start on March 3 with the men’s downhill and continue through March 9. The full event schedule can be found on the Panorama 2022 website.
Source Alpine Canada.