EDITOR’S NOTE: Relive the game from the finals of the big men’s snowboard in Pyeongchang on 2018 Wednesday, starting at 9 a.m. EST in our last installment of Rewind on Wednesday.
Two years ago, when Canadian snowboarder Sebastian Tutan threw his biggest tricks to grab gold at the first Olympic big air competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, halfway around the world, two teenage snowboarders pulled into Tim Horton near the Quebec border -Vermont watch the catcher on his cell phones.
“We needed WiFi,” laughs Nick Laframboise, who is now 20 years old, and a member of the Canadian snowboard team.
Watching his idol “Seb Toots” that day with his friend and colleague Canadian racer Frank Jobin made him realize that his own Olympic dream was in sight.
Perhaps the Canadian, like Tim Hortons’ road trip stop, is a tradition of dominating slopestyle and snowboarding at high altitude in this country.
This may be Mark McMorris, the most decorated snowboarder in the history of the Winter X Games (along with two Olympic medals among many career-threatening injuries), or Max Parrot, the silver medalist of the 2018 Olympic slopestyle, who defeated cancer and returned to win a big broadcast at X Games last February, or stylish Toutant, another past X Games champion who went down in history as the first Olympic big-time winner.
WATCH | Seb Tutant claims the first Big Gold Olympic Gold:
As for women, Lori Bluin is the world champion to win silver at the Olympics and X Games.
They have goods – tricks, talent, credit – and they are still at the top of their game. So how does the next generation of riders hack the Canadian team?
Elliot Catton, head coach of the Canada Snowboard slopestyle, says that given how talented this program is, it’s hard.
“There is no easy way to express this,” he said this week from his home in Squamish, B.S. “We have some of the best in the world, just the standards for team building are higher than in other disciplines or another sport.
“But it just comes down to the skills that they can acquire, to the tricks that they can do, and then to the ability to do it when it matters – performance on demand in competitions. This is what any sport needs to be at the top, but especially for this team. “
Jasmine Baird wants to be on this Canadian team for Beijing 2022, but she has a job.
A 21-year-old Mississauga-based Ontario national team member has been on the sidelines since last August after she tore an ACL in her left knee in Cardron, New Zealand.
“Over the past 10 years, my goal has been to get to the 2022 Olympics,” she said. “Suspension from work was definitely a mental struggle for me, because everyone else I will compete with has progressed the past 12 months, but I don’t.”
After reconstructive surgery, she rehabilitated religiously, working on her strength, mobility and flexibility, until she can return to the snow.
Prior to her injury, she made a fuss on the international stage with her first World Cup podium in January 2019 (third in slopestyle in Zaiser Alma, Italy) and as the best Canadian in her debut at the World Cup in Park City, Utah (sixth in slopestyle) Ahead of the Olympians Brooke Voigt and Blue).
She remembers watching the big air finals in Pyeongchang and comparing her skills with what was suppressed at the Olympics.
“Some of them would like to say,“ Oh, I can do this trick, ”so it was a good feeling and a confirmation that I was on the right track,” she said. “It definitely gave me confidence in where I was, with my progress and my skills in 2022.”
She says her biggest trick is the double 900 cab, which is a dual bottom flip switch. She found out about this last season, before getting injured, and kindly went with this author.
Just for context: the biggest trick in Pyeongchang was 1080, made by Austrian gold medalist Anna Gasser. Thus, in order to be in touch with the best women in the world on the air, Baird hopes to add 10 to his repertoire this season.
Laframboise, or “Flying Raspberry,” as he is called, named his name in a conversation about Beijing in 2022 after taking second place in the overall World Cup, including his first victory in Modena, Italy.
“I did not expect this,” he said from his house in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Cue. “I knew I was capable of it, but being able and actually doing it are two different things.”
He said the biggest lessons he had learned from his first full season on the senior team were performing under pressure and working on a slopestyle game.
Coach Catton says this is what young riders learn as they grow in their careers.
Another bonus for Laframboise this season was that he chose the brains of champions such as Toutant and Parrot, with whom he got into a room in Laax, Switzerland, and at the US Open in Veil, Colorado, respectively.
“Every time I snowboard with Seb, it’s a lot of fun. I think he has a great way to see the snowboard and make it fun. I like that attitude. And with Max, he is really focused and located in the zone. I have to ask him how he calms down before the competition. “
Each small advantage matters on the way to Beijing, especially among the many veteran names and those who approach Laframboise, such as three-time Youth Olympic medalist Liam Brearli and two-time junior world champion Will Buffy, among others.
Progress between the Olympic Games
Before Beijing, 2022 is less than two years old, and this should be the year when riders begin to experience new tricks and overcome the standards of the past snowboard.
“I think that sport is constantly evolving and progressing. It’s kind of nature, ”said Catton. “The big stunts are great, but there are different grips and rotations on the other axis in the snowboard that can help make things unique. So it’s not just another 180 or another throw, which will be the next big thing. There is a creative aspect. ”
Many of the best men on tour make the 1620s and 1800s, while the best women do the 1080s, and some do the 1260s.
Another thing that racers, coaches and fans are looking forward to in Beijing is the place for a great broadcast. The brand new Shougang Park Stationary Ramp, located on the western edge of the Chinese capital, was unveiled at the Air & Style event in early December 2019.
As for which countries will dominate, Beijing 2022, in terms of large air and slopestyle, especially on the male side, is Canada, says Craig McMorris. A professional snowboarder has been following the sport during the past two Winter Olympics as a color commentator for CBC.
“I feel that the selection for the Olympics in the Canadian national team is more difficult than for the Olympics itself. You have one day at the Olympics. If you play, then really. But qualification, even in order to get into the Canada national team, is the whole season, every season. To be honest, I think this is one of the most difficult things in sports. ”
McMorris says it’s too early for women on the air, but watch out for the Japanese.
“They now have three or four riders who do crazy stunts, and when they become a little more consistent, it’s not silly to say that they sweep the podium.”
Relive the action from the dramatic finale starting Wednesday at 9:00 ET on CBC and CBCSports.ca.