Whistler’s Britt Janyk became the second Canadian skier to make history at Lake Louise during the last week, earning her very first World Cup medal in the process.
The previous week Jan Hudec became the first Canadian male to win at Lake Louise, and the first Canadian to win a gold medal in downhill on home soil since Rob Boyd in 1989. Janyk was the first Canadian female ever to podium in a speed event at Winterstart, winning a bronze medal.
It was her first career World Cup medal, coming in only the second season since she switched from technical events to speed events. She even had to pay $25,000 of her own money to race with the national team in 2006-07, but earned most of it back by meeting benchmarks set by the team. She had four fourth place finishes last season, including a fourth in the world championships by a matter of a few hundredths of a second.
Needless to say, Janyk was ecstatic with the result.
“It feels so great, I was thinking (the night before the race) how different it is this year compared to last year in terms of my headspace,” she said. “I’m ranked in the top-30 in downhill and super G this year and I just have so much confidence… I knew that I just had to trust how I’ve been skiing and the results will come.
“I knew that I had a good chance to put something down today but I really just wanted to have fun with it and relax. I know this course and I had to leave the start gate and trust it and it was just so great to see third place as I crossed the finish line.”
Janyk was the second-last of the top seeded racers out of the start on Saturday, which means she didn’t have too much time to sit in the hot seat and worry about being bumped.
The conditions were hard and fast, with the women breaking 125 km/h on some sections of the course.
The win went to Lindsey Vonn (formerly Lindsey Kildow) of the U.S., who won the event last year, in 1:48.69. Austria’s Renate Goetschl was second in 1:49.47, and Janyk third in 1:49.96 — just 0.09 seconds ahead of Maria Riesch of Germany.
Two other Canadians cracked the top-30. Emily Brydon of Fernie was 16 th in 1:51.10, and Kelly Vanderbeek of Ontario placed 22 nd in 1:51.34.
The team raced again on Sunday in the super G, with all eyes on Janyk, 27, after her breakout results from last year and the day before.