Vancouver, January 21, 2023 – Rachael Karker dug deep to claim her third medal in as many events this season, finishing second on Saturday night in windy conditions at the World Cup in Calgary, Alberta.
“It feels great to win a second silver medal at home! It’s been a big week. I was pretty tired today, but I pushed myself hard in order to reach the podium. I knew what I was capable of and I’m proud of the way I skied,” said Karker, shortly after the conclusion of the Snow Rodeo.
On Saturday, the 25-year-old athlete once again put up a strong fight against Eileen Gu of China. Olympic champion Gu, who is also the defending world champion in the discipline, put on quite a spectacle, just as she did two days ago. Her score of 93.50 on her second run allowed her to pull ahead of Karker, who finished with 85.50 points. Kexin Zhang of China (81.75) completed the podium.
“Competing against such talented girls is really challenging, every time. The wind made the conditions a bit difficult tonight, and the course was slower, but we still put on a good show,” noted Karker. “It was a great atmosphere and I’m very happy with my performance.”
As on Thursday, Dillan Glennie (Courtenay, BC) and Amy Fraser (Calgary, AB) also took part in the women’s final. They finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with scores of 73.75 and 63.75.
Local skier Emma Morozumi was the only other Canadian to compete in this second event in Calgary. She placed 12th in the qualifiers and was therefofore not among the top eight who advanced to the finals.
Thanks to her second silver medal of the week, Karker, of Guelph, Ontario, retains the lead in the overall World Cup standings, with a total of 360 points. She is followed by Gu (200) and Emy Fraser (166).
“My goal this season is to win the Crystal Globe, and I’m happy with my results so far. It’s looking good right now, but there’s still a lot of work to do, so I’ll be ready for the next World Cup events,” concluded Karker.
Bowman saves best for last
The competition was tight in the men’s event, and Noah Bowman was the only Canadian to reach the podium. The battle for a medal was a tough one for the Albertan. However, after two unsuccessful runs, he scored 90.50 points on his third and final descent of the night, which moved him into third place, ahead of his teammate Simon D’Artois (Whistler, BC), who finished fourth with 89.50 points.
“It’s an amazing feeling! It was a new run for me, and I was determined to get it right in the final. I’m really happy that I managed to do it, and the bronze medal is like the icing on the cake. It’s a real confidence builder,” said Bowman, who celebrated with family and friends as he left the podium.
“It’s great to be able to ski here at home, in Calgary. I’m really lucky to be able to compete in front of my parents, my sister, my little nephew and my friends. This is a very special night for me!”
Alex Ferreira (94.50) and Birk Irving (93.00), both of the USA, also performed brilliantly, claiming the two top spots on the podium for their home country.
Brendan Mackay also participated in the final. The Calgarian had hoped to earn his third medal of the season, but had to settle for eighth place with 70.50 points.
Mackay now holds third place overall in the standings for the discipline, with 192 points, behind Irving (220) and Ferreira (200).
Andrew Longino (16th, Calgary, AB), Dylan Marineau (17th, Calgary, AB), Evan Marineau (23rd, Calgary, AB), Adam Fiselier (23rd, Calgary, AB), Joshua Podulsky (26th, Calgary, AB), Benjamin Lynch (27th, Vancouver, BC), Jack Huckerby (29th, Calgary, AB) and Lucas Butland (33rd, Calgary, AB) did not advance past Friday’s qualification rounds.
The next World Cup halfpipe event will take place at Mammoth Mountain in California from February 1-3.