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A SUCCESSFUL SEASON – Yukon freestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon skies off a jump during a world cup competition in Seiseralm, Italy. His final world cup event was cancelled due to COVID-19 but he finished the season ranked sixth in the world. Photo submitted by ETIENNE GEOFFROY-GAGNON

Geoffroy-Gagnon finishes season sixth in the world

Like many athletes, Yukon freestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon had his season shortened due to growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

By John Tonin on March 26, 2020

Like many athletes, Yukon freestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon had his season shortened due to growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoffroy-Gagnon said he understood the situation, and that it was nice to get some clarity on the situation.

"It was up in the air for a while," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "It was nice to figure it out and then move on."

His last competition was in Calgary, where he placed seventh – his third consecutive top 10 finish. Geoffroy-Gagnon skied to fifth in Mammoth, Calif., and sixth in Seiseralm, Italy.

The Yukoner's final competition of the season was set to be in Switzerland and he had spent time training in Park City, Utah to prepare.

Although the competition in Switzerland was cancelled, Geoffroy-Gagnon was happy with how his season unfolded.

His final standings have him ranked sixth in the world and second in Canada.

"The season exceeded expectations," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "I've been setting goals yearly, and I surpassed them. All in all, I skied four out of six world cups, and I'm happy with how I skied."

Geoffroy-Gagnon said his world and Canadian rankings have given him a confidence boost heading into next season.

"If you stay in the top four in Canada and top 10 in the world, I'll get full world cup spots for next year," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "My results will hopefully be moving me up to the B team. It's not official yet, but I'm confident in that."

In a season full of successes, Geoffroy-Gagnon said competing in the Calgary world cup was his biggest highlight.

"The highlight was making it to finals in Calgary," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "It was nice to land both my runs there with my mom and dad watching. It wasn't my best result there, but I was happy with it."

Calgary was the first world cup held in Canada since Quebec four years prior.

Geoffroy-Gagnon is back in Whitehorse and currently practising self-isolation, but he is still managing to get training in.

"There is always something to be done," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "I'm spending lots of time in my backyard, I'm fat biking, lots of mobility stuff."

In his backyard, Geoffroy-Gagnon has a slope and rail set up so he can continue to practise his rail tricks.

Until he can return to his regular training schedule with teammates, Geoffroy-Gagnon said he is going to continue to work on what has made him successful.

"It's going to be the same old," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "It's been working out well for me the past two offseasons. I have a routine, and I'll do it on repeat."

Training alone isn't something he has to become accustomed to.

"I'm used to solo training growing up in the Yukon," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "It reminds me of high school. It's nice."

Geoffroy-Gagnon said the season went by quickly, and although COVID-19 ended it early, it's time to move along.

"Next year is my biggest season yet," said Geoffroy-Gagnon. "It's a good time to take things seriously; there are always people doing stuff. I can't be slacking."

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