Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SANTA SLIDE – Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon grinds a rail during the Santa Rail Jam Saturday at Mount Sima. Geoffroy-Gagnon will be heading to France today to compete in the slopestyle World Cup.

Slopestyle skier heads to World Cup

Yukon slopestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon is heading to France to compete in the Slopestyle World Cup season.

By John Tonin on January 4, 2019

Yukon slopestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon is heading to France to compete in the Slopestyle World Cup season. Already having competed in Austria Geoffroy-Gagnon will be leaving for the hills of Font Romeau today.

For Geoffroy-Gagnon it is his first year competing with the Canadian development team.

He last competed in Stubai, Austria in November where he finished in the 11th position after the qualification run. In the championship run he placed in the 23rd spot.

Geoffroy-Gagnon has spent the last two-weeks in Whitehorse preparing for the competition in France.

“It’s pretty clutch training up here, you can’t do it anywhere else,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon over the phone. “It’s really special, and I was lucky enough to get some sled laps in. Sima really helped me out and Tyler (Nichol) kept the park groomed for me to practice. My body feels good and I’m feeling prepped.”

Despite making the World Cup development roster Geoffroy-Gagnon says he is not feeling any pressure heading into the world cup circuit from himself or the outside.

“Right now it is about learning from the process,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “It’s about figuring out a way of competing at this level and seeing how I compare with the rest of the world.”

Although he is looking to grow and get experience he still says he would like to reach the podium.

“Of course making the finals would be great and that is the goal down the road,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon, “but I’m focusing on skiing at the level I want to.”

“This (the World Cup) is going to be an exciting challenge,” he said. “Last season I figured doing the national and provincials was one step, so now it is building upon those baby steps at the next level.

“It is a good confidence boost to make the World Cup team and I am moving forward with the game plan. Right now I am just a small fish in a big pond.”

Making the Canadian development team means that Geoffroy-Gagnon gets to practice with new teammates.

“Skiing with new teammates is pretty cool,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “Every one of them is motivated to compete at their best, and that’s a big push.”

Geoffroy-Gagnon will get access to four out of six world cups. He will be competing in at least four slopestyle competitions. Slopestyle is the discipline where the skier uses rails and jumps while heading down the hill. It is also the event Geoffroy-Gagnon says is his preferred discipline.

As well as slopestyle, he will be competing in one World Cup big air event. Big air is when the skier goes off one jump and performs tricks while in the air, to be scored by a panel of judges.

To go along with the four World Cups he will be competing in during his busy ski season, Geoffroy-Gagnon will also be doing three North American (Nor-Am) Cups, all in the slopestyle discipline.

At his last Nor-Am competition at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in California in Feb., Geoffroy-Gagnon reached the top of the podium, winning gold in slopestyle.

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