The Canadian Alpine Ski Team earned its sixth medal of the still young 2007-08 season on Dec. 29, this one courtesy of Calgary’s Jan Hudec.
It was Hudec’s second podium of the season, coming five weeks after the 26 year old earned his first career World Cup victory in the downhill at Lake Louise Winterstart.
The latest podium was earned on the 2005 world championship course at Bormio, Italy, one of the longest courses on the circuit. Hudec’s time of 2:01.11 was good enough to earn the bronze, just 0.09 back of Andreas Buder of Austria, and 0.54 back of American Bode Miller.
“This race is really important to me and I’m really proud of what I accomplished today,” said Hudec. “Bormio for me is very important. It’s one of the classics and one of the toughest, bumpiest courses on the World Cup. To be on the podium here today is pretty exciting.”
Hudec wasn’t alone at the medal presentation, with teammates Erik Guay and John Kucera placing eighth and 10 th respectively. No other nation could manage three skiers in the top-10. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, an alumnus of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, also earned points, finishing in 16 th place.
“I’m pretty sure we were the top nation today and it just shows the depth of our team,” said Hudec. “I am happy for the team in general because it’s a great result. I’m sure some of the guys are looking to do better but with four in the top-16 it’s pretty clear we’re doing the right things.”
With six medals, the Canadian team is one medal ahead of where they were at New Year’s last season, where the team won a record 14 medals — two more than laid out in Alpine Canada’s strategic plan. The goal for this year is to win 14 medals and place fifth in the Nations Cup.
Whistler’s Britt Janyk has also earned two medals in downhill this season, also a gold and a bronze. Other medal winners include Emily Brydon’s silver medal in super G and Kelly VanderBeek’s silver in downhill. The technical teams have yet to add a medal.
There were a few other races over last week. On Dec. 28, Italy’s Denise Karbon won gold in giant slalom at Lienz, Austria, followed by Julia Mancuso of the U.S., and teammate Nicole Gius. Christina Lustenberger, the lone Canadian in the race, did not finish her first run.
On Dec. 29, Quebec’s Anna Goodman placed 29 th in the slalom at Lienz, the best finish in her young career.
Goodman originally placed 31 st after the first run, but was given the go-ahead for a second run when judges disqualified another racer and bumped Goodman into 30 th . Only the top-30 after the first run qualify for a second run.
“That was really sweet when I found out I qualified for the second run,” said Goodman. “I was a little bummed about 31 st . I haven’t done a second run in the World Cup before so I was pretty stoked.”
The gold medal went to Chiara Costazza of Italy, followed by Nicole Hosp of Austria and Tanja Poutiainen of Finland.
The women’s World Cup season resumes this weekend in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, with a giant slalom and slalom. The men have giant slalom and slalom races at Adelboden, Switzerland.