Road to Pyeongchang: Canada falls back on World Cup circuit

The 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang are fast approaching and winter athletes from around the globe are competing in the all-important World Cup circuit.

A crucial performance indicator ahead of the 2018 Games in South Korea, the World Cup circuit includes all sports that will be part of the Olympic programme.

Canada captured four medals, including three gold, but dipped to third spot in the standings behind the United States after 525 events.

The Canadians have 52 gold to 49 by the Americans, who hold a 144-142 edge in overall medals, 54 behind the first-place Germans in the World Cup standings.

History repeated itself in the men's race at the World Cup ski cross event at Blue Mountain, Ont., with Canada's Brady Leman winning and Chris Del Bosco coming second, a repeat of the 2012 World Cup on the same course.

On the women's side, Marielle Thompson won for the seventh time this season and was presented her third Crystal Globe as the overall champion, which she had clinched in late February in Sunny Valley, Russia.

The strong performance by the 24-year-old from Whistler, B.C., was the perfect final tune-up for the freestyle world championships which began Tuesday in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Slopestyle skier Teal Harle earned Canada's other gold medal in his final World Cup of the season.

It represented the first podium finish for the 20-year-old native of Campbell River, B.C.

Harle snuck through the qualifying round and was one of the first skiers down the hill in the final round of 16, laying down two solid runs and scoring 92.80 to win gold.