A handful of Canada's elite athletes will compete in Calgary this weekend at the Freestyle Ski World Cup at Canada Olympic Park in hopes of heading to the Sochi Olympics.
Peter Judge, president of the Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association, says this weekend is critical for the athletes since Olympic qualification is underway.
"It's a double-edged sword,” Judge said. “There's the excitement of competing at home, the excitement of being in that chase, in the hunt for the world championship and Olympic spots, but it's also the pressure of those things too. That's why we set up the selection process that we do so we have that performance on demand kind of opportunity so that they get that sense of pressure and hopefully it helps them perform better down the road.”
After skiing his way to gold at the Vancouver Olympics, Alex Bilodeau is one year away from defending his title.
"I think physically and technically, I'm in the right place," Bilodeau said. "Calgary will be the next step towards Sochi."
Calgary native Luke Ulsifer is making his World Cup debut.
"The last few years they've had it here, I've always been helping out and watching the team compete,” Ulsifer explained. “Now I'm competing — it feels pretty surreal. I'm just pretty excited — I have lots of friends and family coming out."
In total, 120 athletes from around the world will tackle the moguls on Saturday.