The 2021 World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships are different this year. Due to coronavirus, the event is being held in four different cities. Prior to this weekend we have seen Canadian Olympic gold medalist Mikael Kingsbury of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec win gold in men’s moguls and men’s dual moguls in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Eliot Grondin of Sainte-Marie, Quebec win bronze in men’s snowboard cross in Idre, Sweden. Now over the last two days, we have seen Canadians win four more medals in Aspen, Colorado.
On Friday, in men’s slopestyle snowboarding, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Sebastien Toutant of L’Assomption, Quebec won silver. He posted a score of 82.53 points. Marcus Kleveland of Norway won gold with a score of 90.66 points. Rene Rinnekangas of Norway won the bronze medal with a score of 82.51 points. Toutant won a medal by 0.25 points over fourth-place finisher Red Gerard of the United States, who had 82.23 points. This was Toutant’s first career World Championship medal after winning gold in men’s big air snowboarding at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Kingsbury’s Olympic gold medal also came at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, as he placed first in men’s moguls.
Canada also won two medals on Friday in halfpipe skiing. In women’s halfpipe skiing, Rachael Karker of Guelph, Ontario won the silver medal with a score of 91.75 points. Eileen Gu of China won the gold medal with a score of 93 points. Zoe Atkin of Great Britain won the bronze medal with a score of 90.5 points. Karker earned a medal by five points over fourth-place finisher Hanna Faulhaber of the United States, who had a score of 86.75 points.
In men’s halfpipe skiing on Friday, Simon d’Artois of North Vancouver, British Columbia won silver with a score of 91.25 points. Nico Porteous of New Zealand won the gold medal with a score of 94.5 points. Birk Irving of the United States won the bronze medal with a score of 89.75 points. For d’Artois, he reached the podium by 6.5 points over fourth-place finisher Alex Ferreira of the United States, who had 84.75 points.
Then in women’s slopestyle skiing on Saturday, Megan Oldham of Newmarket, Ontario won the bronze medal. She had a score of 76.18 points. Gu won gold with 84.23 points, and Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland won silver with 77.15 points. Oldham won a medal by 1.23 points over Tess Ledeux of France who posted a fourth-place score of 74.95 points.
Like Toutant, the medals won by Oldham, d’Artois, and Karker were their first at the World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships. The podium finishes for Toutant, Oldham, d’Artois, and Karker will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.