Eliot Grondin of Levis, Quebec won his first career medal at the World Snowboarding Championships on Thursday. The 19-year-old placed third in Idre Fjall, Sweden.
Grondin placed behind gold medalist Lucas Eguibar of Spain and silver medalist Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria. In the big final, Grondin was faster than Jakob Dusek of Austria for the final spot on the podium.
Grondin won the fourth elimination heat and the second quarterfinal race. He then finished second behind Haemmerle in the first semifinal.
This was Canada’s ninth medal in snowboard cross in the history of the World Snowboarding Championships. Previously, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Maelle Ricker of Vancouver, British Columbia won the gold medal in women’s snowboard cross at the 2013 World Snowboarding Championships in Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury, Quebec, and a bronze medal at the 2005 World Snowboarding Championships in Whistler; Canadian Olympic silver medalist Dominique Maltais of Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois, Quebec won the silver medal in 2013, and a bronze medal in 2011 in La Molina, Spain in women’s snowboard cross; Dominique Vallee of Montreal, Quebec won the bronze medal in 2001 in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy in women’s snowboard cross; Drew Neilson of Vancouver won the bronze medal in men’s snowboard cross in 2003 in Kreischberg, Austria; Francois Boivin of Jonquiere, Quebec won the silver medal in men’s snowboard cross in 2005; and Kevin Hill of Chilliwack, British Columbia won the silver medal in men’s snowboard cross in 2015 in Kreischberg.
Ricker won the Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboard cross at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Maltais won the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Grondin’s bronze medal will give him confidence as he prepares for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.