Andi Naude (CAN) competing in finals at the moguls World Cup event in Ruka (FIN). Photo courtesy of Mateusz Kielpinski (FIS)

Freestyle skier Naude secures Olympic team spot

South Okanagan freestyle skier will compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games

It’s official, Kaleden’s Andi Naude will be suiting up with Team Canada at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The former Apex Freestyle Team member finished fourth at the FIS World Cup freestyle ski competition in Finland on Dec. 9, securing her spot with Team Canada. Naude needed one 12th place finish or better at a World Cup event to land the spot on the team.

Related: Naude close to realizing Olympic dream

Naude was just one of two female Canadian skiers who qualified for the final rounds in Ruka, Finland. Audrey Robichaud finished second at the competition, a first medial in two years for the team’s veteran.

“For me it was a perfect day, I am really happy. I almost don’t believe it yet,” said Robichaud. “The course was there for me, I think they made it for me, the conditions were great, the moguls were perfect, just the way I like them with beautiful fresh snow. It was a really great course. Today I was in control, not too stressed. I was ready.”

Sochi Olympics gold medallist, Justine Dufour-Lapointe, narrowly missed qualifying for the final round and finished seventh at this first World Cup event of the season.

On the men’s side, Mikael Kingsbury finished first — his eighth consecutive World Cup win. Kingsbury is now tied with Hannah Kearney (USA) as the most decorated moguls skier and is just behind aerials athlete Connie Kissling (SUI) in the general rankings.

The Canadian moguls athletes now head to Thaiwoo, China, where they compete on Dec. 21 and 22 in a double program of single moguls.

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