Throwing down the best race of his career, Canmore technical skier Trevor Philp moved one step closer an Olympic start with an 11th-place finish in a world cup giant slalom event, Sunday (Dec. 3) in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Philp finished 1.97 seconds behind winner Marcel Hirscher of Austria, as the young Canadian was less than a second off the podium.
“I’m so happy to get that,” Philp said. “I tried to approach the race with the same intensity and routine as I always do.”
Henrik Kristoffersen finished second, while Stefan Luitz of Germany was third.
Alpine Canada requires its older athletes to have two top-12 world cup results in order to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. One of those results must come this season.
Philp is coming off a tough 2016/17 season where he had a string of DNQs and finishes just out of the top 30. He and his teammates spent more time on snow this year, and it’s paid off early for the Canadians.
Philp also began working with a new sports psychologist and he said that’s helped him on race day.
“I often start the season slower and midway through, I feel better. This year, I definitely entered the race season with more confidence,” Philp said. “Every year you grow a bit with more experience, and fine tune yourself as an athlete. Working with a new sports psychologist has put me in the right spot. It’s been a great thing for me.”
It was a great weekend all around for the Canadian technical team. Philp, Erik Read and Phil Brown all finished the first run ranked in the top 30. Read had splits on both days in the top three, and was sitting 23rd overall, but ended up on his hip and off course three quarters of the way down his second run.
“In both races, I had splits in the top three. That is more encouraging. There is work to be done, but the speed is there. (Sunday) is a confidence boost for the entire team. It’s super cool to have all three of us in the top 30,” Read said.
The world cup circuit moves to Val D’Isere, France this weekend, where Read had an eighth-place finish last year. The entire team is working together to earn top results.
“We’re definitely happy for one another. We’ve been grinding away for years, we all came up together through the development team, and broke through to the world cup at the same time. It’s good for team morale when someone does well,” Read said.