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Leman's gold leads three-medal day for Canada at ski cross World Cup

Brady Leman of Canada in action during the men's FIS Ski Cross World Cup qualifying event in Idre, Sweden, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. Brady Leman earned a gold medal in the men's World Cup ski cross to lead a three-medal day for Canada in the event on Saturday. (Anders Wiklund /TT News Agency via AP)

CRAIGLEITH, Ont. — Brady Leman put a cap on his 15-year career in golden fashion on Saturday.

Leman stood atop the podium in the men's World Cup ski cross to lead a three-medal day for Canada in the event. Canada also won its world-leading 10th ski cross Nations Cup, and its sixth in eight seasons.

“I’m so pumped! This is the best way to go out,” Leman said. “I just wanted to leave it all out there today. It was a fight every round and I battled hard the whole day.

"Got a little lucky in the finals but I got to put an exclamation on an amazing career. I love racing, I’ve always loved racing.”

The Calgary native outmatched France's Youri Duplessis-Kergomard and Switzerland's Joos Berry, who grabbed silver and bronze, respectively. Germany's Florian Wilmsmann finished last in the four-man race.

Leman consistently came out of the gates quickly and used his experience to make brave passes on the tight track. It was Leman’s 32nd podium and his sixth career first-place finish, with four of his victories coming on Canadian snow.

“Today was crazy emotional,” added Leman. “There were some tears this morning and lots of emotion but I tried to keep my focus. I’m just so happy to have my family and friends here, and to be with my teammates.”

Leman's career is highlighted by a gold-medal win at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, in addition to a silver medal at the 2019 world championships.

The 36-year-old also competed at the 2014 and 2022 Games, where he finished fourth and sixth, respectively.

“Today so captures what Brady is about” said Alpine Canada ski cross head coach Stanley Hayer. “He’s always found a way to deliver in big races. 

"I think that’s what he’ll leave with this program. That it doesn’t come easy, but if you keep battling and keep pushing that good things will happen.”

In women's action, Canadians Marielle Thompson and Brittany Phelan collected silver and bronze, finishing behind Marielle Berger Sabbatel of France in the big final.

Thompson was content with her rebounding effort after finishing third in Friday's event.

“I wanted to top what I did yesterday, and I did that so I’m pretty happy,” Thompson said. “I think that I could’ve done a little more today but I’m happy to share the podium with Britt. She’s had such a long comeback from injury, I’m super proud of her.”

Switzerland's Fanny Smith placed fourth among the four skiers in the final.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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