Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumni distinguished themselves on the World Cup circuit this past weekend, with Manuel Osborne-Paradis winning gold in downhill, Michael Janyk placing fifth in slalom, Robbie Dixon earning two top 10 results and Britt Janyk leading the team in the Val D'Isere super-G.
The men's speed team was first up with a pair of speed events at Val Gardena-Groeden, on a hill that has been good to Canadians in the past.
The super-G took place on Friday, with two Canadians placing in the top 10. Erik Guay was seventh, just 0.8 seconds back of the podium, with Whistler's Robbie Dixon just 0.01 back of his teammate in eighth place. Also earning points was Osborne-Paradis in 17 th place.
The win went to Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, followed by Carlo Janka of Switzerland and Patrick Staudacher of Italy.
The downhill took place on Saturday. Osborne-Paradis set the top time early with a ragged-looking run on the long Olympic course, and then sat in the hot seat to watch some of the top names in skiing try and fail to top his time.
Robbie Dixon had another solid run to place sixth, while Erik Guay was 11 th .
The gold medal was Osborne-Paradis' second this season, coming just weeks after a win in the Lake Louise super-G. That's the first time a Canadian has won twice in a season since Thomas Grandi won two giant slalom races over three days in 2004.
"Before Christmas, normally I don't ski that well," said Osborne-Paradis. "But I have been getting better and I am figuring out these courses more and more, just becoming so much more confident on every course.
"This is the first year that I have had a game plan on every course before I have got here, just with the experience that I have."
The plan worked, as Osborne-Paradis swept wide on some corners and cut others, gaining speed through the middle part of the course where other skiers lost time. The net result was his eighth career podium.
The Canadian women spent the weekend at Val d'Isere, France. The downhill was cancelled due to snow but the super-G and super combined event took place as planned.
Fernie's Emily Brydon was the top (and only) Canadian in the super combined race, placing seventh. Lindsey Vonn of the U.S., who may be the best all around skier in the world right now, was first, She was followed by Maria Riesch of Germany and Elisabeth Goergl of Austria.
Canadians had a tough time in the super G with few opportunities to train and new snow on course, but Britt Janyk earned points by finishing in 16 th place. The top 16 was a crowded place to be with just 0.66 seconds separating Janyk and the fourth place finisher.