Curt Minard receives the Tim Hortons North Okanagan Athlete of the Year trophy from Pete McIntyre, left, and Jack Gilroy. (Morning Star File)

Vernon’s Minard, Hill back with Team Canada

For 2018-19 snowboard season

A pair of Vernon veterans has been named to Canada Snowboard teams for the 2018-19 season.

Kevin Hill returns on the snowboardcross squad, while Curt Minard is again on the Para Snowboard team.

Both athletes were chosen under Canada Snowboard’s speed discipline selection criteria.

Canada Snowboard also determined the provisional nomination status of eligible team members in accordance with its Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) carding procedures.

Minard earned carding after the Para Snowboard team placed third overall in the Overall Nations Cup standings, the first time that Canada has podiumed in the cup. Minard finished his season with World Cup bronze (Finland) and silver (Big White), good enough for second overall in the Para Snowboardcross Crystal Globe standings.

More than 35 athletes were awarded senior, and development cards.

Minard lost his left hand and endured several surgery complications in a 2008 B.C. Hydro accident. The 39-year-old father of two sons is living life to the fullest and was bursting with smiles two weeks ago when he accepted the 25th annual Tim Hortons North Okanagan Athlete of the Year trophy at Lakers Clubhouse.

RELATED Minard moved by Tim Hortons trophy

Hill, Canada’s top finisher in the event four years ago in Sochi, Russia (eighth overall), qualified for the quarterfinals, but finished fourth in his quarters race and did not advance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. He ended up 14th.

RELATED Hill heading to Olympics

Hill, 29, earned Canada’s best men’s snowboard cross finish in a decade at the world championships when he won the silver medal in 2015. A week later, he dominated every heat en route to gold at the Winter X Games in Aspen, adding to the silver medal he won in 2011.

Also in 2014-15, he finished a career-best fourth in the overall World Cup snowboard cross standings, bolstered by podiums in back-to-back races in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. Hill’s first World Cup podium had come in December 2013 when he placed third in Montafon, Austria. A career-best second-place finish came at the World Cup in Baqueira Beret, Spain in March 2016.

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