Canadians Howden, Thompson land on World Cup ski cross podium

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VAL THORENS, France — Canada's Reece Howden claimed a silver medal in men's World Cup ski cross and teammate Marielle Thompson earned bronze in women's racing Sunday.

Howden, of Cultus Lake, B.C., finished behind winner Jonathan Midol of France and ahead of bronze medallist Florian Wilmsmann of Germany in the final.

“Hopefully, I can keep getting into the top-eight," Howden said. "I plan on being here a lot more and just excited to get more opportunities to get on the box.

“I had another Canadian in all my heats, except the big final. Getting to race with Kris (Mahler) and Chris (Del Bosco) was fun, working together on some great passes.”

Howden raced part-time last season because the 22-year-old was studying geomatics — geographic data — at Calgary's Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Howden still managed to win World Cup gold at Alberta's Nakiska Ski Resort in January, so Sunday's medal was the second of his young career.

Two World Cups were scheduled for Val Thorens.

High winds Saturday postponed races to Monday, so the Canadians quickly get another chance to race for the podium.

Thompson, of Whistler, B.C., earned her 43rd career World Cup medal Sunday.

She placed third, behind victor Fanny Smith of Switzerland and runner-up Jade Grillet Aubert of France.

“I skied pretty well all day, I made a lot of passes,” the 2014 Olympic women's champion said.

“I’d like to get out in front tomorrow, so hoping to make a few improvements. But, really happy with being on the podium and being back on a full-length course like Val Thorens.”

Courtney Hoffos of Windermere, B.C., and Zoe Chore of Cranbrook, B.C., finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Mahler, of Canmore, Alta., placed eighth among men.

Reigning World Cup men's champion Kevin Drury of Toronto injured his leg in a spill early in the day and won't race Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2020.

The Canadian Press