Minsk, Belarus, February 22, 2020 – Canadian Lewis Irving, 24, won a silver medal in Aerials at the Raubichi World Cup, in Minsk, Belarus, today. He stood on the podium alongside Justin Schoenefeld (USA – gold) and Christopher Lillis (USA – bronze). Irving had a remarkable performance, finishing just 0.46 points behind the American.
Irving’s coaches believe this is a turning point as Lewis regains the form that puts him within striking distance of victory at any given event. After winning a bronze medal at the Secret Garden (China) World Cup in the 2017-18 season, he sustained a severe hip injury at the end of the season that required surgery. Since that time he has been on a progressive return to training and competition. Todd Allison, Freestyle Canada’s High Performance Director explained, “it took some time for Lewis to fully recover, but he now is back on track and jumping like we know he can. We are excited that he is pushing the world’s best.”
The Quebec City native’s performance was especially impressive given the depth of field in Minsk. With the American and Chinese teams missing a number of events this season, it has been difficult to gauge overall strength however with all contenders present today, Irving’s medal was a resounding endorsement of his re-emergence.
Conditions were far from ideal in Minsk this week. After several days of heavy rain that severely impacted the snowpack, the organizers had to scramble to farm enough snow to maintain the jumpsite for the evening event. On the day, variable wind conditions and rain proved challenging for all, including Irving’s teammate Félix Cormier-Boucher, who struggled with the landing and finished in 27th place for the event.
On the women’s side, Catrine Lavallée was forced to withdraw and return to Canada to reassess a minor knee injury she has been struggling with since December.
The Aerial teams converge with the Mogul skiers next weekend in Almaty, Kazakhstan and the following in Krasnoyarsk, Russia as both venues host the next Aerial and Mogul World Cup events.