Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

SUPER CROSS – Jason McKay performs an iron cross during the Freestyle Yukon Championships Apr. 2 at Mount Sima. McKay will be competing in the upcoming Canada Cup at Mount Sima.

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

HITTING NEW HEIGHTS – Jacob Robertson competes in slopestyle at the Freestyle Yukon Championships Apr. 2 at Mount Sima. Robertson will be competing in the upcoming Canada Cup at Mount Sima for the first time.

Canada Cup freestyle event returning to Mount Sima

The Toyo Tires Yukon Slopestyle/Big Air Canada Cup is returning to Mount Sima.

By Morris Prokop on November 16, 2022

The Toyo Tires Yukon Slopestyle/Big Air Canada Cup is returning to Mount Sima.

The event will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.

Training sessions will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

The Big Air competition will be Dec. 2 with the finals taking place in the evening.

Slopestyle qualification will be on Dec. 3 and the finals will be held on Dec. 4.

According to Freestyle Yukon executive director Stephanie Robertson, it was a regular event prior to COVID-19. This will be the fifth Canada Cup in the Yukon.

“It’s just under Nor-Am, which is just under World Cup, so still amateur, but provincial-level amateur athletes, up and comers,” explained Robertson.

“We have capped it at 85 and so we have five local athletes competing and hopefully 80 other athletes. Registration is starting to fill up.” About 62 freestylers are registered so far.

Robertson said they are expecting athletes “from all over Canada, so I know Nova Scotia’s sending a team, Ontario I think is sending two teams. Quebec has one team, Alberta might be three teams, a couple from B.C.”

Robertson said the local skiers are looking pretty competitive.

“They’ve been practicing all summer and they’re on the airbag jump this weekend I believe and then they start pre-season the week after, so they’re pretty pumped. A couple of them went and skied on the glacier this summer in Whistler with some of the Olympians, trained hard and are excited.”

Robertson said there’s a camp called Momentum Camp up on the glacier.

“It’s a busy, busy place and … people from all over the world go.”

Jason McKay and Jacob Robertson were the lucky ones who trained on the glacier at Whistler.

“They’re pretty excited and pretty stoked to ski with the … Olympians,” said Robertson.

“It was really cool, because you were on the highest mountain around, with these crazy big jumps and rails and all the pro athletes are coaching you,” described Jacob Robertson, Stephanie’s son. “That was a super fun and inspiring experience.”

“There was all the pros, like James Woods, Alex Hall, Etienne (Geoffrey-Gagnon) was there. That was really cool. And I met a lot of people that I look up to.”

“I was working on qualifying some flips and just improving my skiing skills. It was pretty good. It was super fun and all the coaches knew exactly how to teach you … it was just a really good way to get coached and fast-track my progression.”

Stephanie Robertson said there are other local athletes competing in the Canada Cup as well.

“We have Alex Wilson, who’s on the depth team in the Yukon, as well as Isaac Maddocks and Charlie Fidler, along with the other two and they’re all pretty awesome. They’re definitely doing more tricks than I would.

“A couple of them have been on the team for five years, not the dev (development) team, but the Yukon Freestyle team, and others have been on for a couple of years but they’re dedicated to training all year round, train five days a week, so pretty dedicated.”

All five local athletes will be taking on slopestyle and big air.

“I’m a little bit nervous because it’s a higher competition level than I’ve been doing but I’m also super excited because I kind of have the advantage because it’s my local (hill) and I’ll have a week or two more to train on it than everyone else,” related Jacob Robertson.

The young lad doesn’t have any expectations for himself.

“I don’t know what to expect, really.

“Yesterday (Sunday) was our first day on snow and that went good but hopefully I do good in the Canada Cup and competitions to come.”

The Big Air event will have qualifiers during the day and the finals under the lights in the evening. There will also be a bonfire with smokies and hot dogs.

“I think we’re putting on a beer gardens as well with Sima, so people can come out and watch. I’m hoping a bunch of people from the communities and locals come out and watch and cheer on our athletes and, just sort of bring awareness to the sport,” said Robertson.

The big air competition lifts off from 6 to 8 p.m. The beer gardens, located at the Big Air site, open at 4 p.m.

Robertson said national team athlete Geoffrey-Gagnon will be there as well. “He’s helping coach as well.”

Geoffrey-Gagnon was in a World Cup competition at Stabaier Glacier in Austria, about 45 minutes from Innsbruck.

“He’ll be back at the end of the month to help coach for a month or two,” said Robertson.

“We are very excited to be hosting the Canada Cup again,” added Robertson. “This event attracts some of the best up-and-coming freestyle skiers in the country and we can’t wait to show them how great the Yukon and Mount Sima are.”

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