Canadian ski jumper Abigail Strate started 2024 off with a World Cup silver medal Monday.
The 22-year-old Calgarian finished second to Austria’s Eva Pinkelnig.
Norway’s Eirin Maria Kvandal and Jacqueline Seifriedsberger of Austria tied for third in the women’s large hill competition in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Strate’s combined 269.4 points over two jumps was 2.7 points back of Pinkelnig.
It was Strate’s second World Cup medal in three days, and a career-best result, after she claimed bronze Saturday in Garmisch, Germany.
“I thought one podium can sometimes be viewed as a fluke, but two is definitely no fluke,” Strate said.
“It is very exciting, realizing what is possible. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think it was. I know there are still things to fix which is blowing my mind. I never thought I’d be in this position.”
Strate’s teammate and reigning women’s world champion Alexandria Loutitt of Calgary placed sixth Monday.
“There is never a time that I want an athlete to beat me, but today I was happy for Abi to beat me,” Loutitt said. “She performed so well, and we have now only missed the podium as a team one weekend.
“(We) have both gone through the tough times. As someone who sees her every day, and sees the suffering that goes into it, it feels so good to see her have success.
“We are on a team that shares the same drive and wants the same things, so I am very happy for her.”
Loutitt ranks fourth and Strate seventh in the overall World Cup women’s season standings.
The two women, along with MacKenzie Boyd-Clowes and Matthew Soukup, won Canada’s first Olympic medal in ski jumping in 2022 with a bronze in the first mixed-team event.
Loutitt, 19, opened this World Cup season with two silver medals and one bronze.
A member of the Nihtat Gwich’in First Nation, Loutitt led a smudging ceremony for her teammates and coaches to start 2024.
“Being part Indigenous, the smudging is something my mom has encouraged,” Loutitt said. “Whether you believe it works or not, whether you are spiritual or you think it is ridiculous, I think it was a good bonding moment for our entire team of athletes and coaches.
“Having different traditions and doing stuff like this as a team is so important. No other team in the world would do this, and it is an important part of Canadian history and who we are. I think it helped get us a little lighter on our feet today.”
The Canadian women head to Austria for their next World Cup stop Wednesday and Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2024.