Snowboarding

Ciccarelli ‘tricks’ his way to gold medal


STONEHAM, Que. – Michael Ciccarelli of Ancaster, Ont., built on a promising performance at last month’s world championships to earn the gold medal in the men’s slopestyle Saturday (Feb. 21) to conclude the Canadian stop on the FIS snowboard World Cup circuit.

It was great weekend for the Canadian male riders as they swept gold in both events and collected three medals. Friday night Darcy Sharpe of Comox, B.C., and Tyler Nicholson of North Bay, Ont., were 1-2 in the Big Air World Cup.

Ciccarelli, who served notice he was a contender with two top-six finishes at the worlds last month in Austria, totalled 95.50 points with two-time World Cup champion Janne Korpi of Finland second at 91.00 and Keita Inamura of Japan third at 88.25. The best score of three runs was the final mark.

‘’It’s been a long time coming,’’ said Ciccarelli, 18, who was 60th at this same venue a year ago. ‘’I’ve been working pretty hard to get tricks down. It felt good to go clean through the whole course today. After the first run I knew there was still room for some improvement.’’

On his first run, he scored 91.50 which already put him in medal contention but added a backside 1260 melon on his second to raise the bar even higher.

‘’I was prudent on my first run to make sure I landed my tricks cleanly,’’ he said. ‘’I’m really pleased with how it worked out.’’

Ciccarelli said he was inspired by his teammates on Friday.

‘’It definitely gave me a little push,’’ he said. ‘’I thought it would be cool to also be on the podium today and I knew I really had to kill it to achieve that. Darcy and Tyler are guys I look up to and I always value their input.’’

Matts Kulisek of Montreal was seventh.

In the women’s slopestyle, Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands was the winner with American Jessika Jenson in second and Anna Gyarmati of Hungary third.

Laurie Blouin of Stoneham was sixth.

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