January 29, 2011
Shouldice strikes aerials gold at home
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Standing in the same place he decided to become an Olympian, Warren Shouldice could hardly describe the feeling of victory.
The last time the Calgary freestyle skiing aerialist stood on top of the podium was five years ago in China.
That hardly compares to taking gold at a World Cup stop just minutes away from where he grew up.
“I had no idea it would be so special until it happened,” said Shouldice, who posted a point total of 244.90 to top Switzerland’s Renato Ulrich by just 1.89 during Saturday’s aerials final.
“I thought this was just another World Cup stop. Now, having won it, I realize it’s so much more. This is one of the best days of my life. I will remember this forever. I’m on cloud nine.”
Shouldice was an impressionable four-year-old when he saw Eddie the Eagle live out his dream of being an Olympian at the 1988 Games in Calgary.
At that moment, Shouldice began his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.
The ski-jumping hills at Canada Olympic Park are no longer used, as the moguls and aerials courses sit in the bowl at the finish line.
A hush came over the crowd as Shouldice stood up before his final jump. As he came down, Blur’s Song 2 (Woo-hoo!) blasted through the speakers as Shouldice flew through his jump.
The crowd erupted as he stuck the landing.
“I felt calm and confident,” Shouldice said. “I did my two jumps just about as well as I could do them. I had a little bubble on my second one. This is the performance I aim for every week.
“I’ve lived here my entire life,” said the 27-year-old. “I can’t believe we have a World Cup, and I can’t believe I won it.”