Édouard Therriault had a specific plan in mind and followed it to the letter on Sunday in the slopestyle final in Font-Romeu, France. The result? A bronze medal – and his first-ever World Cup podium finish.
“I had my routine set, and I went into it without thinking or worrying too much about what everybody else was going to do. I just believed in myself, trusted myself and it worked out great. I’m really happy with my performance. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Therriault, post-medal ceremony.
The native from Lorraine, Québec, showed competitors and spectators alike what he can do on the slopes this Sunday. He demonstrated a varied style and a lot of range and earned himself provisional second place in the first round with 81.71 points. On the second run, he tried to raise the bar yet again but was unable to improve his score.
Only two competitors surpassed the Canadian skier’s performance on Font-Romeu’s slopes. Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli – reigning world champion in the discipline – was the eventual winner with a score of 86.36, while New Zealand’s Ben Barclay (82.71 points) earned the silver.
Also competing in France were Teal Harle (Campbell River, BC) and Mark Hendrickson(Calgary, AB), who were themselves in hot pursuit of the podium. In the end, both Canucks had to settle for very respectable finishes just off the podium – Harle (81.46 points) finished fourth, just ahead of Hendrickson in fifth with 80.63 points.
Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon (Whitehorse, YT) qualified for the final but was unable to start. He finished the day in 15th place overall.
“We all really wanted to do well leading to the Olympics and to secure more spots for Canada in future competitions. I’m really proud of my team and what we did this weekend – I feel like we outdid ourselves and it’s really fun for Canada. We pulled together,” continued bronze medalist Therriault.
Skier Édouard Therriault’s list of achievements was already impressive prior to this first-ever World Cup podium. In Kläppen, Sweden in 2019, the now 18-year old was crowned World Junior Slopestyle Champion, and in March 2021 at Senior Worlds in Aspen, he took many by surprise by winning a silver medal in the Big Air event.
This week he’s heading back to that same venue in Aspen to compete in his first X Games, where he’ll want to take advantage of every experience and, of course, continue making progress towards possible participation in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
“The X Games have been my dream since I was young, so next weekend is going to be an incredible experience! The more the season progresses, the better I feel on my skis, and the better my results are. I really believe I have good momentum right now. As always, my goal is to improve on my own performances, and that’s what I’m going to aim for again,” he concluded.