Canadian invasion

Christian Pondella

Members of the Canadian Slopestyle team last week at Mammoth Mountain. <a class="launchGallery" href="http://espn.go.com/action/photos/gallery/_/id/7295765/canadian-slopestyle-team-mammoth">Launch Gallery &#187;</a>

With the winter contest season rapidly approaching -- the U.S. Grand Prix takes place at Copper Mountain Dec. 7-9. and the first Winter Dew Tour stop comes to Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 15-18 -- athletes are busy preparing and training. Which is why the recently-formed Canadian Slopestyle Team has spent the last week sessioning the park at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and the Canadian Halfpipe Team is at Copper Mountain, Colo., until mid December.

The real question, perhaps, is why the Canadian team chooses to train on U.S. soil? "These resorts have basically the best and most reliable park set-ups for November training in order to get prepared for the December Dew Tour," says Canadian Freestyle Team High Performance Program Director David Mirota. "And the National team athletes are very familiar with these locations, some being home-based there for the past few years." Check out this gallery of photos taken during a recent sunset shoot of the Canadian slopestyle athletes at Mammoth.

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