Vincent Marquis led Canada’s first ever sweep of the men’s moguls podium at a freestyle World Cup on Saturday.
Marquis scored 25.77 to capture gold in frigid conditions. Alex Bilodeau won silver with 25.50, and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau scored 25.39 for the bronze, leaving 2006 Olympic champion Dale Begg-Smith, who won the qualifying round, back in fifth place.
“I did the run I was dreaming of doing this week.” Marquis said. “I don’t feel the weather anymore.”
Aiko Uemura of Japan won the women’s event from favorite Jenn Heil of Canada, who claimed the silver medal.
Marquis said the Canadian men’s trio had been hoping for a podium sweep for some time.
“We’ve been talking about this for the last couple of years about the ability to do this,” he said. “And now that we’ve done it, we feel we can do it again.”
The Canadian men’s aerialists swept the World Cup podium in 2006, also at the Ski Mont Gabriel resort.
“I can’t describe it,” Bilodeau said. “For sure, the three of us will remember this for the rest of our lives. But it’s probably not the last time.”
Rousseau, who won the season-opener last month, collected his 19th World Cup medal with the bronze.
“It can’t be better,” Rousseau said. “We did something very special.”
Rousseau and Bilodeau now share the men’s overall lead.
Heil, who dominated the international circuit in winning four World Cup overall women’s moguls titles from 2004 to 2007, won her second straight silver medal of the season in temperatures that dipped down to minus 30˚C.
“It’s tough on everyone, but I think we have an advantage as Canadians,” Heil said.
Heil and Hannah Kearney of the US, third in the event, share the overall lead.
■ SKI JUMP WORLD CUP
AP, WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria captured a ski jump World Cup on Saturday in the first competition held on the hill that will be used at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Schlierenzauer moved atop the World Cup standings with his sixth win of the season, earning 298.2 points from jumps of 142m and 139.5m. He set the record on the Whistler hill in training with 143.5m on Friday.
“I think I did a good job today. In the air, this is a good hill and I think we can jump very far next year at the Olympics,” Schlierenzauer said.
Countryman Wolfgang Loitzl was second with 274.1 points on jumps of 136.5m and 135.5m.
“The wind conditions were perfect so that was good,” Loitzl said. “I think the whole area is really great and we are looking forward to next year and the Olympic Games.”
Finland’s Matti Hautamaeki finished third with 270.6 points after soaring 136.5m and 135.5m.
Switzerland’s Simon Ammann finished fourth and dropped to second in the overall standings for the first time this season. Loitzl was third.