Penticton’s Brayden Kuroda on the way to one of two gold medals in freestyle skiing at the Canada Winter Games. (Kevin Bogetti-Smith - Team BC)

Double gold on the slopes for Okanagan skier

Brayden Kuroda of Penticton scored a pair of gold medals in freestyle skiing at Canada Winter Games

Brayden Kuroda’s relaxed demeanour carried him to an exciting finish Sunday and Monday at the Canada Winter Games.

The 18-year-old Penticton freestyle skier scored a pair of gold medals at Canyon Ski Hill Resort near Red Deer Alta. on Sunday in the aerials event and Monday in the male moguls competition.

Kuroda said it was a new trick on the moguls course that helped him to gold in that event.

Related: Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

“I did a big cork seven at the top and landed nice in line, which I was struggling with a little bit earlier today, and then I pinned it at the top air and let it fly through the bottom section,” Kuroda said.

“As I was going into the bottom air — I didn’t have the greatest bottom air in my first run so I was a little worried about that — I came through with a big, nice back mute and it turned out to be a good run today.”

Kuroda sat on top of the leader board after the qualifier with a score of 83.89. He improved on his final run with 86.81 points.

After winning his second gold medal, Kuroda was asked how he planned to celebrate.

His answer: “Sleep.”

Meanwhile, B.C. team member Kassidy Todd of Keremeos finished just off the podium in the female competition, winding up fifth.

She finished with 69.93 points in the qualifying run (fifth), finished third in the second chance run with 71.64 points, and fifth in the first run of the finals with 74.87.

Kuroda, Todd and coach Josh Kober of Penticton head to Colorado on Wednesday for their next Nor-Am event.

Though Kuroda’s time at the Games will be short, he said Canyon Ski Hill has become a new favourite spot.

“I’m just having fun here and getting a chance to hang out with friends. It is a lot of fun,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I guess it doesn’t change a lot of things, but I was just glad to perform up to my best this weekend.”

Prior to the Games, Kuroda told the Western News he was just looking to have some fun at the event, especially not having the pressure of netting FIS (International Ski Federation) points like he does in Nor-Am circuit races.

Related: Canada Winter Games will be a fun break for road-weary Okanagan skiers

Kuroda said he still had a great, albeit condensed, experience with Team BC.

“This was just a quick fun session for everyone. It was pretty fun and nice to get to be part of a big, multi-sport event. I met a lot of new people,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting two, I was trying to ski my best and have fun and it turns out I got two golds which was pretty sweet.

“It’s got me pretty fired up and I’m ready to go to the next Nor-Ams and give it my all.”


 

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Kassidy Todd of Keremeos competing in the female moguls event at the Canada Winter Games in Alberta where she finished in fifth place. (Kevin Bogetti-Smith - Team BC)

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