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Canadian slopestyle skier Harle earns victory in World Cup finale

Harle skis to slopestyle World Cup gold

SILVAPLANA, Switzerland — Canadian slopestyle skier Teal Harle made sure his final World Cup of the season was a memorable one.

The Campbell River, B.C., native won gold in Friday's World Cup season finale, his first podium finish of his career. Moments after climbing down from the podium, he credited his positive mindset for the victory.

"For sure when I feel good, when I'm in a good mood, I ski better and I have less stress, so I just have more success when I'm stoked and I'm having a good time," Harle said.

Harle scored 92.80 to win gold.

He snuck through the qualifying round and then was one of the first skiers down the hill in the final round of 16, laying down two solid runs.

"There were a lot of runs to go that could have dumped him, but no one was able to catch him," said slopestyle head coach Toben Sutherland.

Sutherland wasn't surprised by Harle's victory.

"Teal really enjoys what he is doing, he is not too focused on the results," Sutherland said. "It shows when he skis that he is just having a really good time out there. He is just fun to watch. His progression has been pretty fast, he is keeping it real. Wakes up every day and wants to go skiing and just enjoy it. At the end of the day, he skis with a smile on his face and it shows in his runs."

The performance comes at a good time, with the world championships beginning next week in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

"This gives me a lot of confidence going into worlds," Harle said. "Now I know I can land my run so hopefully I can keep the momentum going."

Harle landed his still-unnamed signature trick for the first time in competition, describing it as a "double cork 10 but then you block it and land at 900 instead of 1080, so you skip the last 180. . . it's a little something that I have that is kind of unique,"

Alex Bellmare of St-Boniface, Que., finished fifth.

The Canadian Press