By Andrew Mitchell
After a record-setting start to the season with six medals in
six weeks through November and December, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team tapered
off in the first two weeks of 2007. Still, Canadian skiers continue to earn
points and at least two Canadians placed in the top-30 of every event.
Last weekend the men were at Wengen, Switzerland, while the
women’s team was at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, both competing in downhill,
and combined events.
Bode Miller of the U.S. won the first downhill race at Wengen,
a comfortable 0.65 seconds ahead of Didier Cuche of Switzerland on the
circuit’s longest course. Peter Fill of Italy placed third.
The top Canadian, in 18
place, was Quebec’s Erik
Guay, while Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus Manuel Osborne-Paradis placed 24
Francois Bourque rounded out the top-30 in 27
In the Super Combined on Sunday, Mario Matt of Austria was the
top racer, followed by Marc Berthod and Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland.
Calgary’s John Kucera was the top Canadian, finishing 16
while Francois Bourque also pulled in some points in 25
Kucera and Bourque were sitting in sixth and eighth respectively after the
downhill, but were 22
in the slalom.
In Austria, Fernie’s Emily Brydon was the top Canadian, placing
11th in a three-way tie in the downhill on Saturday, one spot ahead of Kelly
VanderBeek in 14
. Whistler’s Britt Janyk cracked the top-20 to place
, half a second out of the top-10.
The gold medal went to Renate Goetschl of Austria, followed by
Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Julia Mancuso of the U.S.
In the Super Combined, Mancuso took over with strong runs in
both the downhill and slalom. Her teammate, Lindsey Kildow, placed second,
while Marlies Schild of Austria was third.
Brydon cracked the top-10, tying for ninth place in the
combined. Shona Rubens was 18
, Britt Janyk 19
Emilie Desforges 25
This was Brydon’s fifth top-10 this season.
“It feels good. I was pleased with my slalom run today
especially,” said Brydon. “The downhill I did well in sections but I really
felt like I could have done it better and maybe come away with a better
For Janyk, who is having a consistent season with finishes in
the top-30 in speed events, two top-20s in the same weekend are only the
“My downhill was really solid,” she said. “I just have to
improve my level of risk to match some of the top skiers out there, to take
some more risks next time, but it’s getting there.”
Canada currently sits sixth in the overall Nation Cup standings with 1,824 points. Austria leads with 7,076 points, followed by the U.S. with 3,018.