Reece Howden is a World Cup champion.
The Cultus Lake ski-cross athlete won his first career World Cup event Saturday, taking top spot in the men’s final at the Nakiska Ski Resort in Kannanaskis, Alberta.
Howden led wire to wire, with Canadian teammate and World Cup points leader Kevin Drury nipping at his heels the entire time.
They finished well ahead of a pair of German athletes, Daniel Bohnacker and Florian Wilmsmann.
Howden let out a big yell as he crossed the finish line, raising his arms in triumph.
“Being able to compete in front of family and friends, it was awesome,” the 21 year old said. “Being in Canada, it was unreal all the cheers from the home crowd. Being able to hug mom and dad at the finish and my brother Jesse, I couldn’t ask for anything more really. This is an amazing day.”
It’s been a light, but hugely successful season for Howden so far.
His racing has been limited by a full-time course load at the South Alberta Institute of Technology, where’s he’s studying geomatics.
He was able to get away just before Christmas to tackle three events in Europe.
Howden placed fifth and ninth at a World Cup event in Innichen, Italy and was 20th in a race held in Arosa, Switzerland.
He traveled to Red Deer, Alberta and the Canyon Ski Hill for Canadian nationals and won gold.
His latest triumph catapults him nine spots up the ski cross World Cup standings, from 18th to ninth.
Get more info online at alpinecanada.org/team/reece-howden