Andi Naude can’t wait to get into the starting gate in Ruka, Finland.
Naude and her Canadian Freestyle Ski Association teammates begin a new FIS World Cup dual moguls season on Saturday.
“It’s been an awesome off season,” said Naude, who put in hard work on the snow, water and in the gym. “I feel really prepared. I’m really excited to get out there.”
Naude’s training took her to Whistler, Australia and Switzerland where she did a lot of work on water ramps, trampolines and the gyms doing cycling to keep fit and improve her skills. Entering her fourth season on the team, jitters won’t be an issue for the 19 year old, who is a product of the Apex Freestyle Club. The experience she has gained gives her confidence.
Going into the weekend and the season, she wants to build on her best season, which saw her finish fifth in the world. On Saturday her lone focus will be putting down a run that she is happy with.
“Because it’s a duals event, it will be more fast-paced,” said Naude during a phone interview. “It’s not going to be the perfect run I don’t think. I just want to be happy with my overall performance.”
In finishing top five in the world, Canada’s women’s side occupied spots two through six, Naude earned her first World Cup podium.
“I want to continue to push the envelope and hopefully get on the podium a few more times,” she said.
When asked about this season’s team, Naude said the group is looking to keep what they accomplished and feed off of each other.
“We’re looking really strong this year,” she said.
Naude is joined by the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Chloé, Justine and Maxime, as well as Alex-Anne Gagnon and Audrey Robichaud.
The CFSA reported last year that the Canadian team found success in difficult snow conditions with Philippe Marquis grabbing first place on the men’s side and Chloé finishing second for the women in Ruka.
“There will be new challenges for us this year and a new Crystal Globe winner without Hannah Kearney being on tour anymore,” said Justine in a press release. “So now we have to challenge and push each other to be the best that we can be. I want to put myself in a position each competition to be on the podium and to hopefully win my first Crystal Globe too. We had a great off-season and we feel stronger than we ever have before.”
The World Cup will be streamed live on cbcsports.com starting at 10 a.m. EST / 7 a.m. PST the morning of Saturday, Dec. 12.