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 Invermeres 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, Canmores Thomas Grandi, is also one of the most successful skiers, winning four medals in the past two seasons, including one medal this season.
Mont Tremblants Erik Guay has four medals of his own this season, while Val-Morins Genevieve Simard, Fernies Emily Brydon, and New Richmonds Francois Bourque have one medal apiece.
However, Guay has a leg injury and it was announced Wednesday that he wont compete in the mens 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 womens 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 mens slalom under the lights on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 25.
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,