Phelan, Howden collect double bronze for Canada at ski-cross World Cup in Italy

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  • Reece Howden
    Canadian freestyle skier

INNICHEN, Italy — Britt Phelan and Reece Howden each captured bronze for Canada at a ski-cross World Cup on Sunday.

Phelan, a 30-year-old from Mont-Tremblant, Que., is back on the World Cup circuit after a lengthy recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in February of 2020. She's off to a strong start, winning silver in Val Thorens earlier this month, plus finishing in the top-10 three times.

"It was a really good day," said Phelan, a silver medallist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. "I've been super consistent all year and happy with how that's going, coming back after two years off from injury."

Sandra Naslund of Sweden won the gold, while Switzerland's Fanny Smith was second.

Howden, a 23-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., finished behind winner Ryan Regez of Switzerland and silver medallist Bastien Midol of France.

"This course is always fun," Howden said. "Speeds are high, and the ice is hard."

Canadians Kevin Drury and Marielle Thompson each finished fifth.

Drury is rebounding from a broken leg.

"The more heats I do, the better I start to feel, and the more confidence I gain," he said. "Today was awesome, with some really good starts and building confidence with every run."

Thompson, an Olympic gold medallist in Sochi in 2014, is coming back from her second major knee injury, the most recent being a torn ACL last March. Her return has been a success so far, with a World Cup gold and two bronze.

The team will do one more race in Italy before heading home for the holiday break and preparing for the World Cup in Nakiska, Alta., Jan. 13-15.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19. 2021.

The Canadian Press

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