After an offseason of change, things are starting to come together for Manny Osborne-Paradis.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus altered his training regimen and switched his equipment to Head over the summer. The 32-year-old has been pleased with how he was skiing in 2016-17, though the results weren't what he might have hoped for initially.
However, the placements are starting to come along, as he took a season-best sixth in the downhill at Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 27. Osborne-Paradis finished 0.87 seconds behind American Travis Ganong, while Norway's Kjetil Jansrud and Italy's Peter Fill also hit the podium.
It was Osborne-Paradis' best result at the hill, as he'd previously taken seventh twice. Still, he felt there was more he could have done better.
"If I'm getting my best-ever (results) in Garmisch and I'm still not super content, that's great. There was definitely a lot to improve in that run and I don't feel that was everything I could have given," he said. "That's always the best feeling, when you come down and you know there's more in the tank as opposed to feeling it was the best run, I don't even know how it could be faster, and you're 15th."
In the second race the next day, Osborne-Paradis took 28th, though apart from a near-wipeout on his first run, he felt everything else about his run was as he wanted it.
"I somehow still finished top 30 with a stop," he said.
Osborne-Paradis spent roughly 20 extra days on snow in the summer getting used to his new equipment, though as other conditions presented themselves, he needed to make adjustments.
"As we started the season with race days, winter conditions and longer race courses, it took me a couple races to find my groove but it seems like it's coming along. I'm happy with it. I've always been happy with how I've been skiing this year, it's just the results haven't been up to where I thought they should have been," he said.
"It's definitely gradual and it's definitely a lot of work.
"It is a small-step process and some days, you figure out how to turn a little bit more. With the Heads, I find I ski a little bit more with my ankles. It's something I haven't had to do as much, so you're trying to change your technique as well as trying to change what's happening and reacting with the skis.
"It's all coming along and the way I'm skiing right now, I felt like this is how I was skiing in 2009 and 2010 when I was skiing at the Vancouver Olympics."
Osborne-Paradis noted he and fellow Canadian skier Erik Guay have focused on their gliding this year and the results have begun to manifest.
"Erik Guay and I have been working a lot with gliding and making sure that that's somewhere that we can be, at least, one, two, three in the world on all gliding sections. If we can do that, we have a chance with all the downhill courses," he said.
In the first downhill, Guay suffered a concerning crash, but on his Twitter page noted he expects to be ready for the World Championships next week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Benjamin Thomsen was 40th and Jeffrey Frisch was 44th. The next day, Thomsen was 36th and Whistler's Broderick Thompson ended up 40th, while Austria's Hannes Reichelt took the win, besting Fill and Switzerland's Beat Feuz.
The Canadian women, meanwhile, struggled at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Mikaela Tommy and Candace Crawford were 42nd and 43rd, respectively, in the Jan. 28 downhill. Switzerland's Lara Gut won, sharing the podium with Italy's Sofia Goggia and Slovakia's Ilka Stuhec. In the next day's super-G, Crawford took 35th with Stuhec, Goggia and Austria's Anna Veith hitting the podium in that order.