Cultus Lake’s Reece Howden has captured the coveted Crystal Globe, emblematic of World Cup ski cross supremacy.
The final event of the ski cross season was held Saturday at Veysonnaz, Switzerland. Howden finished ninth, but he had already done more than enough to win the World Cup points title.
The 22-year-old finished a whopping 286 points ahead of second place Jonas Lenherr (Switzerland), by virtue of winning four World Cup races and reaching the podium in six.
“I was trying to do the best that I could. After Val Thorens in December, when I got a couple podiums I realized there was a possibility if I kept skiing well that I could win the Globe,” Howden told Alpine Canada after recieving the trophy on Sunday. “It is just amazing, I am super blessed and excited.”
Howden’s most recent victory came just one week prior as he held off the competition at Sunny Valley in Russia. He became just the second Canadian man to claim the Crystal Globe, following teammate Kevin Drury, who won the award last season.
Howden was also named the Federation International de Ski (FIS) Rookie of the Year. It’s a particularly meaningful honour as recipients are chosen in a vote by their peers. Howden was able to dedicate more time to his craft this season after finishing his degree at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
He did reach the podium once in 2020, finishing first in a race held at the Nakiska Ski Resort in Kananaskis, Alberta.
But 2021 was truly special.
He put his World Cup competition on notice last December when he finished second and first in a pair of races in France.
He claimed two more championships in late January at Idre Fjäll in Sweden, and finished second at Reiteralm in Austria.
Howden was by far the most productive Canadian on the World Cup circuit. Christopher Delbosco was 26th with 127 points. Brady Leman was 28th with 111. No other Canadian cracked 100 points.
“It was an amazing season,” Howden said. “I had a lot of fun, learned a lot and had a great time with the whole team.”