Halfpipe skiing champion Cassie Sharpe finished first in qualifying runs Wednesday for the weekend’s competition with 93.75 points. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada’s Sharpe riding high into halfpipe season as Olympic champ

Cassie Sharpe gained a boost in popularity this year when she returned from Pyeongchang with an Olympic gold medal.

The halfpipe skiing champion was name-dropped in a tweet by Canadian actor and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, saw a little girl dressed up as her for Halloween, and even got her face on a pair of socks owned by the prime minister.

Sharpe, who dazzled on the Pyeongchang pipe, nailing jump after jump en route to her first-place finish, gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the special socks during a meet and greet at Parliament Hill with other Olympic medallists in May.

The idea originated after the Comox, B.C., skier saw socks adorned with Trudeau’s face on them in a tourist shop in Vancouver and bought them to wear to the meeting.

“I told one of my friends about it and she was like: ‘you should get socks with your face on them and give them to him.’ So yeah, I gave the Prime Minister socks with my face on them,” Sharpe said with a laugh in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.

“I ordered these stupid socks and when I met him I gave them to him and he was like: ‘oh my gosh this is so funny.’

“He said people always give him stuff with his face on them so I was like: ‘you know what? Funny you should say that,’ and I pulled up my pant leg and showed him my socks with his face on them.”

The visit to the Canadian capital was just one of the highlights for Sharpe in a summer that also saw her take some much-needed time to herself after years of virtually non-stop training for her Olympic debut.

She went to Mexico, Disney World and Japan over a three-month break. Now that she’s back on snow in the Colorado mountains, Sharpe is ready to defend her World Cup points title at her season-opening event at Copper Mountain.

Sharpe finished first in qualifying runs Wednesday for the weekend’s competition with 93.75 points. Fellow Canadian Rachael Karker will also compete in the final after qualifying in fourth place.

Copper Mountain has traditionally proved a tough event for Sharpe, who called the halfpipe there her “nemesis.” Three years ago she took a tumble on the Copper Mountain course while doing one of her easier tricks and has had trouble turning off those negative feelings associated with it since.

“I think coming into last year I was only thinking about that (fall) and I wasn’t aggressive, I wasn’t enjoying skiing it, I had so much on the back of my mind,” said Sharpe, who’s spent the last few weeks training in Austria for the upcoming season.

“I think this year coming into it I’ve tried to only have positivity about it and not dwell on something that happened three seasons ago. We’ll see how it goes but I’m definitely trying to emote more positive vibes toward this pipe.”

Sharpe capped the 2017-18 halfpipe campaign with a World Cup victory in France a month after winning Olympic gold. The 26-year-old won two other World Cup competitions last year and added to her medal haul with a Dew Tour gold and an X Games bronze.

While the next Olympic Games is still three years away, Sharpe said she’s not taking it any easier this season. The pressure to maintain her top ranking is serving as her motivation.

“I definitely feel the pressure of being the athlete on top,” Sharpe said. “I feel like it’s more performing on demand — like I have to always be on and skiing my best to maintain that spot and that pressure and expectation that I’m going to do that. That’s what I feel more, but I’m for sure my worst critic. I’m the person who pushes myself the most.

“My family, my coaches, my team, no one is putting that pressure on me. So I’m trying to just be more positive and go out there with a more fun (attitude) instead of that heavy, competitive vibe all the time.

“I just want to have fun with this season.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

Keaton Wildeboer, of Lacombe, participates in the Westerner Championship Dairy Showcase at Westerner Park on Thursday. More than 150 cattle will be on display at the event, which continues until Saturday, carrying on a tradition started in 1954. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall begins in Red Deer

Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall is currently being held… Continue reading

Car thief opening stolen car doors. 
(Black Press File Image)
Idling vehicles attracting thieves, RCMP warns

About one-third of stolen vehicles left idling unattended

Police reveal a collection of drugs, cash and guns seized in an April 2016 bust. One of the men charged was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday.
Advocate file photo
Red Deer man sentenced to 27 months for role in “dial-a-dope” operation

RCMP Priority Crimes Task Force broke up drug operation in April 2016 after four-month investigation

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP’s downtown traffic stops lead to charges

Two traffic stops conducted by Red Deer RCMP officers on bike patrol… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. The Alberta government says rapid COVID-19 tests will soon be available at the Calgary airport and a United States border crossing so travellers coming into Canada don't have to quarantine for a full 14 days.<br style="box-sizing: inherit; color: rgb(209, 210, 211); font-family: Slack-Lato, appleLogo, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: common-ligatures; background-color: rgb(34, 37, 41);">The pilot project is to start Nov. 2 and will be voluntary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 testing option to be tried at Calgary airport, U.S. border crossing

COVID-19 testing option to be tried at Calgary airport, U.S. border crossing

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, file photo, signage is pictured at a Walmart store in Oklahoma City. On Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, Walmart filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in a pre-emptive strike in the battle over its responsibility in the opioid abuse crisis. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Walmart sues US in pre-emptive strike in opioid abuse battle

Walmart sues US in pre-emptive strike in opioid abuse battle

FILE- In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, children line up to enter a tent at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Fla. Despite efforts by the Trump administration to improve communication to track children who are separated from their families at the border, the process is still vulnerable to error and information sharing between agencies is inconsistent, raising questions on the accuracy of current data, a watchdog reported Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Judge urges US to help find parents deported without kids

Judge urges US to help find parents deported without kids

Police officers detain a protester at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. After 13 days of protests against alleged police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, as moves are made to stop growing violence.( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Nigerian president leaves protest shootings out of speech

Nigerian president leaves protest shootings out of speech

FILE - Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell during a news conference, July 2, 2020, in New York. Transcripts of interviews lawyers conducted with Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, should be released as soon as possible, a judge ordered on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska said the transcripts of two days of depositions in 2016 of the British socialite and related documents along with the deposition transcript of an anonymous accuser should be released publicly as soon as is practicable. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Epstein ex Maxwell denied getting Prince Andrew sex partners

Epstein ex Maxwell denied getting Prince Andrew sex partners

Kevin Drew, right, and Pearl Wenjack give a tribute to the late Gord Downie at the Juno Awards in Vancouver, Sunday, March, 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Gord Downie’s brother Patrick on the ‘peace’ he hears on new album ‘Away is Mine’

Gord Downie’s brother Patrick on the ‘peace’ he hears on new album ‘Away is Mine’

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino listens to speakers during a news conference in Ottawa on October 2, 2020. A much heralded program that would give permanent residency to some asylum seekers working on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to accept a single application. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Promised path to residency for “Guardian Angel” asylum seekers yet to open

Promised path to residency for “Guardian Angel” asylum seekers yet to open

Rogers Communications CEO Joe Natale speaks to shareholders during the Rogers annual general meeting in Toronto on Friday, April 20, 2018.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Rogers says its progress in Q3 shows it’s on right track in tough environment

Rogers says its progress in Q3 shows it’s on right track in tough environment

Most Read