Meet the Team
Ski Cross made its debut at the 1998 Winter X-Games, sponsored by sports channel ESPN. Dubbed “Motocross on Snow”, with its jumps, banked turns and waves over a 1000 metre course, it very quickly became a popular winter event. It proved a major attraction when it was included in the Winter Olympics program at Vancouver in 2010. In the event, four competitors jostle their way down a series of obstacles on a narrow course that inevitably leads to lots of body contact and thrills and spills, with the first two finishers advancing to the next round. Top speed in these difficult conditions can reach 70 kph, which means that in addition to speed, protecting the competitors from injury is a serious consideration. The Canadian team took to the new event very quickly and made rapid progress, built around strategic selection of members with a diverse range of competition experience, including downhill skiing, on top of a love of speed, and a never-say-die passion for a challenge. Descente shares the passion for high performance with these top level athletes and their coaches, and is working hard to develop products that will meet their exacting expectations.
In World Cup, world championship and Olympic races, there's an initial qualification round that is run as a time trial, with racers skiing the course solo. The skiers with the fastest times advance to heats, in which four skiers race head to head. The top two advance to the next heat, a format that is repeated until the final four battle it out for gold, silver, bronze and fourth place. A small or consolation final is also held to determine which skiers finish fifth to eighth overall. At the Winter X Games – one of the sport's biggest events – six skiers compete head to head instead of four.
Canada has some of the sport's biggest stars. Del Bosco has been a dominant and consistent performer at the highest level, winning the world championship title in 2011 and claiming gold at X Games in 2012. Kelsey Serwa, the 2011 X Games gold medallist and world champion, has established herself as one of the best in the world, and Marielle Thompson made history in 2012 by becoming the first Canadian to bring home an individual World Cup Crystal Globe in ski cross. Under head coach Eric Archer, a former ski cross racer, Canada has proven itself as the leading nation on the World Cup circuit. In 2011-12, Canada defended its Nations' Cup title, awarded to the team with the most World Cup points overall.