Canada opts for mix of experience, youth on Olympic snowboarding team

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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QUEBEC - Canada's snowboard team will consist of competitors that Canadians will be counting on to produce Olympic hardware next month in Vancouver.
The team of 18 Canadian riders, who were formally unveiled Monday, will bring a mix of experience and youth to the Winter Games.
"We are ready with the best, we are ready to take on the world and we will leave nothing behind when we tear down the runs on the Cypress (Mountain) bowl," Christian Hrab, high performance director for Canada Snowboard, said at the team's introduction ceremony.
Hrab said the athletes - 10 men and eight women - were nominated based on their hard work and results over the last year in the sport's three disciplines.
There are some lofty medal expectations for this squad.
World No. 1 Maelle Ricker and second-ranked Dominique Maltais will lead the way in snowboard cross, a bruising, high-speed event that could give Canada several podium spots.
The four men named to the boardercross team are Robert Fagan, Francois Boivin, Mike Robertson and 35-year-old Drew Neilson.
Jasey-Jay Anderson, the defending world champ parallel giant slalom, returns to the Games for the fourth time. He will be gunning for his first Olympic podium.
Michael Lambert, ranked No. 4 in the world, and Matthew Morison round out a strong men's alpine team that could also challenge for medals.
Riders Alexa Loo, Caroline Calve and Kimiko Zakreski will carve for Canada in the women's parallel giant slalom.
Inside the seven-metre halfpipe, Olympic veterans Sarah Conrad, Mercedes Nicoll and national development team boarder Palmer Taylor will represent Canadian women.
Jeff Batchelor, Justin Lamoureux and Brad Martin will compete for the men.
Supporters cheered on the snowboarders as they made fashion-show-like entrances in a historic Quebec City theatre.
Tom McIllfaterick, CEO of Canada Snowboard, called the group "the strongest and best prepared snowboarding team to ever represent Canada in the Olympic Winter Games."

Organizations: Canada Snowboard, Quebec City theatre

Geographic location: Canada, QUEBEC, Vancouver

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