American Lindsey Vonn may own the Lake Louise women's downhill course, winning her sixth and seventh World Cup gold medals at Lake Louise this past weekend plus a silver in the super-G, but there was a lot to celebrate for the home team as well.
The Canadians got faster in every training run leading up to the first of two downhill races on Friday. Vonn took that race in a time of one minute, 26.13 seconds, while Fernie's Emily Brydon crossed the finish line in 1:26.65. Maria Riesch of Germany took the bronze medal with Whistler's Britt Janyk just 0.29 seconds back to place fourth.
Other Canadians earning points in the top 30 were Kelly VanderBeek in 13 th place and Larisa Yurkiw 24 th .
Brydon's silver medal was the best result ever posted by a Canadian woman at Lake Louise.
"I had a lot of ups and downs but they were all part of the journey to get here," said Brydon. "This is a great way to start the season and (with) Britt in fourth it reassures the world that we are back and that we are in a very powerful position right now. I couldn't be happier."
Vonn finished the race with some blood on her face after bumping her chin on her knee while rounding a corner and biting her tongue. "I was a little bit confused and didn't really know what happened," she said. "I was just hoping that I didn't lose any teeth."
Day two took place on a longer course with colder temperatures and harder snow, but in the end the results were similar to day one.
Emily Brydon had a solid day once again to win the bronze medal, with Riesch surging into the silver medal position. Vonn took the win once again.
Britt Janyk also lost some ground but still placed eighth.
Brydon said she had difficulty on the top part of the longer course but managed to get her run back under control to earn her second medal in as many days.
"Both of these days have been very different but very emotional," she said. "It makes me very happy. I think that yesterday was a huge step for me in my career. I went out of the start gate with the same game plan. I was still just as nervous this morning (as) I was yesterday. I realized that those are just race nerves and I think that is good to have."
Janyk was happy with her top 10 results in the downhill events, all but ensuring her a spot in the 2010 Games.