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Canada's Schmidt wins gold, Phelan claims silver at ski cross World Cup

Canada's Jared Schmidt competes in the freestyle men's ski cross 1/8 finals during the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, in Zhangjiakou, China, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick) Canada's Jared Schmidt competes in the freestyle men's ski cross 1/8 finals during the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, in Zhangjiakou, China, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
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VAL THORENS, France -

Jared Schmidt won gold, and Brittany Phelan claimed silver, delivering impressive performances for Canada at the World Cup ski cross event in the French Alps on Friday.

Schmidt, who grew up in Ottawa but now calls Calgary home, initially crossed the finish line in second place but was bumped to the top spot on the podium after French skier Youri Duplessis Kergomard was disqualified for contact.

Sweden's David Mobaerg earned silver, while Austria's Johannes Rohrweck claimed bronze.

It was Schmidt's first career World Cup victory. The 26-year-old had previously won two bronze medals, both in 2021.

"It was a crazy day," Schmidt said. "We woke up this morning and saw the fresh snow on the ground and we were all kind of wondering what was going to happen, but the course crew did a great job cleaning the course off.

"We ended up having a great race. The cards kind of played into my favour today, I got lucky a few times, but I was always in the right spot, making passes and battling it out and ended up winning. It's pretty crazy."

In the women's event, Phelan, hailing from Mont-Tremblant, Que., finished 0.53 seconds behind gold medallist Daniela Maier of Germany. Marielle Berger Sabbatel of France took home the bronze.

It was the 30-year-old Phelan's 13th career World Cup medal

"It was a battle out there. Super happy with the day and my approach and making some sweet passes," said Phelan, an Olympic silver medallist in ski cross at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. "I didn't really know what to expect coming here, I just wanted to focus on my skiing. Body's been feeling good, knees are feeling good and everything so I just felt free to just rely on experience and just let the skis take me down the hill -- total intuition."

Marielle Thompson, of Whistler, B.C., finished fifth overall after winning Friday's small final.

The next World Cup stop is next week in Arosa, Switzerland.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2023.

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