FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2018, file photo, freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe, of Canada, holds her 2018 Olympic gold medal after arriving from South Korea at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Sharpe was name-dropped in a tweet by movie 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. These things can happen when you win Olympic gold. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Sharpe riding high into halfpipe season as Olympic champ

Cassie Sharpe was name-dropped in a tweet by movie 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.

These things can happen when you win Olympic gold.

Sharpe won the halfpipe skiing competition in South Korea, nailing jump after jump and thrilling her native Canada. She gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the special socks during a meet and greet at Parliament Hill with other Olympic medallists in May. The idea came after she saw socks adorned with Trudeau’s face at 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. “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 capital was just one of the highlights for Sharpe in a summer that also saw her take some much-needed time for herself after years of near 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. She called the Copper Mountain halfpipe her “nemesis” — three years ago, she took a tumble on the course while doing one of her easier tricks and has had trouble turning off the negative feelings.

“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. “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 is not taking it any easier this season. The pressure to maintain her top ranking is serving as a 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.”

Just Posted

The best caesar in Canada can be found in Sylvan Lake

Kjeryn Dakin’s Tragically Hips caesar won the national Best Caesar in Town competition

Family says five found dead after Alberta fire were couple and their grandkids

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The family of five people whose bodies were… Continue reading

Rescue dogs come to Canada in search of forever families

There were dozens of dogs in the back of the van travelling… Continue reading

WATCH: Parkland Garden Centre hosts weekly Craft and Market Sale

A weekly event hosted by the Parkland Nurseries Garden Centre gives Red… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train supports Lacombe Food Bank

Madeline Merlo and JUNO Award nominee Scott Helman both performed

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault heads to Hollywood to talk carbon and business

LOS ANGELES — After a tumultous legislature session, Quebec Premier Francois Legault… Continue reading

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

OTTAWA — The Conservatives are calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to… Continue reading

Flames edge Kings 4-3 to remain unbeaten under interim head coach Geoff Ward

CALGARY — From his contributions on the scoresheet to his role in… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Google taps into Montreal’s rich gaming industry for first-party Stadia content

Sebastien Puel has seen Montreal evolve into a game development powerhouse over… Continue reading

Man dead after lengthy standoff with RCMP at home northeast of Calgary

COCHRANE, Alta. — A man in Alberta has died after an officer… Continue reading

Turkey trouble: Quebec village looks to dump wild bird running afoul in town

MONTREAL — In the small Quebec town of St-Prosper-de-Champlain — population 552… Continue reading

Most Read