Canadian freestyle skier Marion Thénault made good on her goal of a strong finish to the aerials season and reaching the medal podium, picking up bronze at the World Cup Finals on Sunday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
It was the fourth podium on the circuit this season for Thénault and seventh of her career.
For her teammate, Émile Nadeau, Sunday’s bronze was his first World Cup podium.
After earning 81.07 points on a tricky jump in the first final, Thénault rebounded in the super final with a score of 93.66 to place third.
“I was really happy with my jumps. I’ve had some tough moments this season, so I’m really proud to finish on a high note,” the native of Sherbrooke, Que., who won in Almaty last year, told Freestyle Canada.
WATCH | Thénault bronze secures 3rd in final season standings
“I really wanted to finish on the podium and finish strong. It’s motivating for the future, because I did well, and I know I can do even better. There’s still a part of me that’s sad because I love jumping and we won’t have a competition for a while, but it’s also important to rest.”
The 22-year-old Thénault also finished third in the overall World Cup standings with 350 points, 12 behind second place Laura Peel, who won Sunday’s event with 110.36 points. Her teammate, Danielle Scott, skied to silver with 97.99. With 462 points, she captured the Crystal Globe trophy as overall season champion.
Thenault made her Olympic debut in Beijing in 2022, where she won bronze in mixed team aerials and placed seventh in the women’s event.
Nadeau, who hails from Prévost, Que., received 96.83 points from the judges in his first super final of the season.
“I’ve often thought about [my first podium finish]. It’s fun to finish on a positive note,” the 19-year-old said.
“After a tough week of training, I didn’t think this was possible. It shows me that I’m capable of making a podium and it’s really good for my confidence.”
WATCH | Nadeau scores 96.63 points in 1st super final of season:
Pirmin Werner and Noe Roth made it a 1-2 Swiss finish. Werner prevailed with 123 points, nearly five more than Roth (118.55) who won the Crystal Globe.
Miha Fontaine of Lac-Beauport, Que., also competed in the first final on Sunday and finished ninth while Quebec City’s Alexandre Duchaine was 14th in the qualifying round.
Sixth in the final standings, Duchaine was Canada’s highest-ranked skier of the campaign.
It was a challenging week for several other as the run’s location at high altitude and frequent cloud-cover forced the cancellation of some training sessions. Competitors also had to adapt to the fast track.
WATCH | Full coverage of aerials action from Kazakhstan:
Some Canadian athletes feel contractually silenced by non-disparagement clause | CBC Sports
Companies paid to investigate safe sport complaints lack independence, athletes say | CBC News
Cirstea upsets Sabalenka to reach Miami Open semifinals; night matches rained out | CBC Sports