Campbell River product Teal Harle won gold in the final World Cup freestyle skiing event of the season in Corvatsch, Switzerland today.
Harle, 20, scored 92.80 to secure gold through two runs on the course.
Narrowly qualifying for the finals held Friday morning in Corvatsch, Harle was one of the first skiers down the slope in the final round of 16, Freestyle Canada said on its website. He had two solid runs, even improving his score in the second run, to hold onto first place ahead of some of the best competitors in the discipline.
Notably, he landed his signature trick, the intricacies of which are his secret.
“It’s like a double cork 10 but then you block it and land at 900 instead of 1080, so you skip the last 180. I believe it’s the first time that the trick is done in a contest run, it’s a little something that I have that is kind of unique!” said Harle.
This win comes at a good time in the season, with the World Championships just around the corner.
“This gives me a lot of confidence going into Worlds. Now I know I can land my run so hopefully I can keep the momentum going,” Harle added, confiding that he was in the perfect mental space to ski at his best today. “When I feel good and I’m in a good mood, I ski better and have less stress, so I tend to do better on the slopes when I’m having a good time.”
Toben Sutherland, head coach of the slopestyle team, is not surprised by Harle’s first-place finish.
“Teal really enjoys what he is doing, he is not too focused on the results. It shows when he skis that he is just having a really good time out there. He is just fun to watch,” said Sutherland.
“His progression has been pretty fast, he is keeping it real. Wakes up every day and wants to go skiing and just enjoy it. At the end of the day, he skis with a smile on his face and it shows in his runs.”
Harle’s family is, not surprisingly, ecstatic.
“I just found out and want the world to know Teal won a world cup!” Shane Harle said in an email to the Campbell River Mirror. “I am beaming right now, as my son, Teal Harle, just won a WORLD CUP slopestyle ski event in Europe.
Harle grew up in Campbell River and skied on Mt Washington, then moved to Whistler in Grade 11. His family created a ski academy to allow Teal to pursue his ski dream and continue his education.
“It looks like all the effort put into running a ski academy turned out,” Shane said.