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B.C. skier late entry to Team Canada

17 skiers represent Canada in Torino but Guay misses downhill



Alpine Canada Alpin at last submitted its final list of athletes to the Canadian Olympic Committee on Monday, the last team to finalize its roster for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

The goal from the beginning was to qualify 22 athletes for the Games, or twice as many athletes as in the 2002 Olympics. While the team fell short of that goal, the last minute addition of Invermere’s Christina Lustenberger (two top-18 giant slalom results on Feb. 3 and 4), brought the team to 17 members – the second largest team since Canada hosted the Games in 1988.

The final team includes eight women and nine-men, ranging in age from 18 to 33, and has won eight World Cup medals this season. Several members have also qualified in more than one event.

The most veteran member of the team, Canmore’s Thomas Grandi, is also one of the most successful skiers, winning four medals in the past two seasons, including one medal this season.

Mont Tremblant’s Erik Guay has four medals of his own this season, while Val-Morin’s Genevieve Simard, Fernie’s Emily Brydon, and New Richmond’s Francois Bourque have one medal apiece.

However, Guay has a leg injury and it was announced Wednesday that he won’t compete in the men’s Olympic downhill, scheduled for Sunday. He is aiming to be ready for the Feb. 18 super G.

While the Canadian Alpine Ski Team has contenders in every category, the goal for the national team is to win one medal in Torino. The entire national team program was restructured following the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, with the goal of winning multiple medals in 2010.

"Our strategic plan calls for Canada to be a world leading alpine racing country by 2010," said Max Gartner, the chief athletics officer for Alpine Canada Alpin, the administrative body for ski racing in Canada. "With significantly increased human, technical and financial resources, the intent is to have our athletes in the best form ever for an Olympic Game."

The last Canadian to win a medal in an Olympic alpine event was Edi Podivinsky, who took a bronze in downhill in 1994. In total Canada has won just eight Olympic medals in alpine events since 1956, when Lucile Wheeler won our first medal, a bronze in the women’s downhill.

There are five alpine disciplines for both men and women. Alpine events at Torino will run from Feb. 12 to Feb. 25, wrapping up with a men’s slalom under the lights on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 25.

National Team

Brigitte Acton, Mont Tremblant QC – downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super G

Patrick Biggs, Ottawa ON – slalom

Francois Bourque, New Richmond QC – downhill, giant slalom, super G, combined

Emily Brydon, Fernie BC – downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super G, combined

Allison Forsyth, Nanaimo BC – downhill, giant slalom, super G

Thomas Grandi, Canmore AB – slalom, giant slalom

Erik Guay, Mont Tremblant QC – downhill, super G, giant slalom, combined

Michael Janyk, Whistler BC – slalom, combined

John Kucera, Calgary AB – downhill, giant slalom, super G, combined

Sherry Lawrence, Calgary AB – downhill, super G, combined

Christina Lustenberger, Invermere BC – giant slalom, super G

Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver BC – downhill, super G, combined

Jean-Philippe Roy, Gatineau QC – slalom, giant slalom

Shona Rubens, Calgary AB – downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super G, combined

Ryan Semple, Mont Tremblant QC – slalom, giant slalom, combined

Genevieve Simard, Val-Morin QC – downhill, giant slalom, super G

Kelly VanderBeek, Kapuskasing ON – downhill, super G, giant slalom and combined

Three of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team coaches also hail from Whistler, including Rob Boyd, Matt Kerr and Jim Pollock.

Dr. James Demarco will be a physician with the Canadian Health Care Team, along with physiotherapist Marilyn Hellier,

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