Shouldice flying high

RON MANZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

Now among the best high flyers in the world, Calgary's Warren Shouldice has high hopes of flying to a gold medal this weekend in Fernie.

Shouldice, 21, heads into the freestyle grand prix on a high after winning a World Cup silver in Lake Placid last Friday.

But this is Fernie and Shouldice doesn't have great memories of past World Cups there.

"I have a lot to prove to myself at Fernie," said Shouldice. "The first year they held the World Cup there, I finished eighth.

"Last year, I suffered a concussion on the first day of training when I landed wrong on a kicker hill that was really hard and I was knocked out of the competition. Things will be different this year."

He's certainly on the right path. Besides the silver, he also had a fifth-place finish in Sunday's aerials at Lake Placid, a week after placing a respectable sixth at Mont Tremblant.

Shouldice earned his latest silver medal at the World Cup by successfully landing a quad-twisting-triple somersault. He also has been successful with a lay double full-full in competition.

But his goal is to go beyond both those jumps before the winter is over.

"I trained a lay triple full-full a lot this summer over water in Salt Lake and I hope to try it on snow later this year," Shouldice said. "No one has ever done it on snow before and I intend to be the first. I want to perfect it so I can use it next winter at the Olympics in Italy.

"I am focusing on the Olympics being my time to shine and things are looking pretty good so far."

Meanwhile, Calgary's other high flyer, Kyle Nissen has been temporarily grounded by an untimely injury. The 25-year old crashed at Mont Tremblant two weeks ago and slightly tore some ligaments and the meniscus on one leg. It forced him to the sidelines during the Lake Placid event and will also keep him out of the Fernie competition.

Nissen will undergo an MRI in Calgary tomorrow.

"I'm not landing as strongly as I would like because of it and am perhaps a little more tenuous than normal," Nissen said last weekend.

Nissen, who won gold in only his third World Cup event at Heavenly, Calif., in 2000, went into this season with plenty of momentum after increasing his number of summer training jumps from 900 to 1,400.

He spent a lot of time working on a move, with five triple twisting flips, he believes could win at the Olympics.

"Only one guy has managed the quintuple twisting flip and it gave him Olympic gold in Salt Lake," Nissen explained. "Everyone else is working on it and I plan to have it down in time for Turin next winter. Right now, though, I just have to get over this injury setback and make the best of this year's competitions as I prepare for that Olympic year."

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* WARREN SHOULDICE

DOB: April 1, 1983

Hometown: Calgary

Highlights: Third year as World Cup team member. Best finish on World Cup circuit was silver at Mont Tremblant in 2004.

* KYLE NISSEN

DOB: Aug. 23, 1979

Hometown: Calgary

Highlights: Fifth year as World Cup team member. Has won a gold medal in 2000 in Heavenly, Calif., and also has two silvers.


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