By Andrew Mitchell
It was a good weekend for the Janyk family, with Michael earning a silver medal with the men’s team at Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Britt making a strong return to the women’s speed team at Lake Louise.
In fact, it was a stellar weekend for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in general, as the team added two more medals to the two medals the men’s team earned the previous weekend. In addition to Mike Janyk’s silver in slalom, Ontario’s Kelly VanderBeek placed third in the women’s super G on Sunday. Showing the overall depth of the team, Canadian skiers also finished in the top-30 of every race this past weekend, earning points and improving their start positions for future races.
The Beaver Creek World Cup got underway with a super combined event on Thursday, Nov. 30. Christoph Gruber and Mario Scheiber of Austria placed first and second in the downhill stage, while Didier Defago of Switzerland was third.
Finishing just 0.18 seconds back of Defago was Francois Bourque of New Richmond, Quebec, who placed sixth.
The racers headed back up the hill in the afternoon for a run on the slalom course, which changed the leader board considerably. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway placed first with the lowest combined time in the two events, while Marc Berthod of Switzerland took second, and Rainer Schoenfelder of Austria was third.
Bourque dropped to 12 th place overall, the only Canadian to finish both his downhill and slalom runs. Although the 21 year old was disappointed to give up some ground, he was happy with his downhill race.
“Today it went very well, I was ready and the course was in excellent condition,” he said. “I love hard snow and steep hills, and always perform well in theses conditions.
“Slalom had been my force when I was younger. However, with the speed events taking a more important role in my career, it’s hard to find time to train as much on the slalom.”
While the World Cup speed team was at Beaver Creek, the men’s technical team warmed up for the weekend’s giant slalom and slalom at a Nor Am Cup race at Keystone Colorado. Whistler’s Mike Janyk won the slalom event racing against a very international field of racers in town for the World Cup. Alexander Koll of Austria and Gaetan Llorach of France were second and third.
A World Cup downhill event was on Friday. American skiers Bode Miller and Steven Nyman secured the gold and bronze, while Didier Cuche of Switzerland earned the silver medal.