Craigleith, Ontario was the home course of the final four World Cup ski cross events of the 2022-23 season this weekend and Canadian athletes reached the podium on six occasions. In the men’s World Cup on Friday, Reece Howden of Chilliwack, British Columbia won the gold medal in the men’s event, while in the women’s World Cup on Friday, Courtney Hoffos of Invermere, British Columbia and Canadian Olympic gold medalist Marielle Thompson of North Vancouver, British Columbia won the silver medal and bronze medal respectively. In the men’s World Cup on Saturday, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Brady Leman of Calgary, Alberta won the gold medal, while in the women’s World Cup event on Sunday, Thompson won the silver medal, and Canadian Olympic silver medalist Brittany Phelan of Sainte-Agathes-des-Monts, Quebec won the bronze medal.
Thompson won the gold medal in women’s ski cross at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Leman won the gold medal in men’s ski cross and Phelan won the silver medal in women’s ski cross at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The gold medal for Leman on Saturday in Craigleith was significant because it was the final ski cross race of his career. Earlier in the week, he announced his retirement at age 36.
In the Women’s World Cup ski cross race on Friday, Fanny Smith of Switzerland won the gold medal and on Saturday in the Women’s World Cup ski cross race, Marielle Berger Sabbatel of France won the gold medal. In Friday’s women’s race, Hoffos finished second in the second quarterfinal heat and first in the first semifinal heat. Thompson was first in the fourth quarterfinal heat and first in the second semifinal heat on Friday and Saturday. Phelan was second in the first quarterfinal heat and second in the first semifinal heat.
In the Men’s World Cup ski cross race on Friday, Florian Wilmsmann of Germany won the silver medal and Youri Duplessis Kergomard of France won the bronze medal. In the Men’s World Cup ski cross race on Saturday, Duplessis Kergomard won the silver medal and Joos Berry of Switzerland won the bronze medal. Howden won the second first round heat, first quarterfinal heat and first semifinal heat on Friday. Leman won the fourth first round heat, was second in the second quarterfinal heat and won the first semifinal heat on Saturday.
In the World Cup men’s ski cross standings, Howden was the World Cup champion with 725 points. David Mobaerg of Sweden was second with 574 points. Leman was fifth with 354 points. In the World Cup women’s ski cross standings, Thompson was third with 664 points, Hoffos was 11th with 335 points, and Phelan was 24th with 86 points. The World Cup women’s ski cross champion was Sandra Naeslund of Sweden with 900 points. The medals for Howden, Thompson, Phelan and Hoffos will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo.