Whistler, BC (December 9, 2001) – Today there was no question why Canadians are some of the most talented riders in the world when Daniel Migneault, Guillaume Morisset and Mike Michalchuk swept the podium to claim Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively in today’s Halfpipe competition at the Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup at Whistler. Montreal’s Dominique Vallee took a career best Bronze Halfpipe for the women.
Today’s competition was the second Halfpipe event of the World Cup stop in Whistler. It was originally scheduled to run yesterday but was re-scheduled for today after the mountain received over 45 cm of new snow in 24 hours, causing heavy snow accumulation in the bottom of the Halfpipe and very low visibility. The sun shone during this morning’s qualification runs but a thick fog rolled in quickly during the Women’s Finals.
Due to extremely low visibility, the Race Jury decided to shorten the length of the Halfpipe for the Men’s Finals, and each competitor was judged based on the best of two runs. To ensure a fair competition for the women, the scores from each of their two runs were combined so that each woman had one final score.
“Each of the men completed three hits in the Pipe during the Finals, with the exception of Daniel Migneault”, said Joe McAdoo, Halfpipe Coach for the Canadian Snowboard Federation (CSF). “His incredible riding style allowed him to fit four huge hits in – two staright airs and two spins.”
Guillaume Morisset finished second in Friday’s Halfpipe competition and third today. “The conditions in the Pipe were really good today despite the fog”, said Morisset. “The new scoring format was a bit strange, but the judges had no choice. You could not see well at all.”
Quebec’s Brett Carpentier holds one of four Canadian Olympic Men’s Halfpipe spots, and decided to play it safe this weekend and not compete due to a recurring back injury. Migneault and David Melancon had incredibly strong performances in this weekend’s two Halfpipe competitions, narrowing the gap between themselves and Michalchuk, Morisset, and Trevor Andrew for the three remaining spots.
Vancouver’s Natasza Zurek holds Canada’s one Olympic Women’s Halfpipe spot.