Manny Osborne-Paradis picked a great time for his first podium of the season.
The 33-year-old Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus took third in the super-G at the Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Osborne-Paradis finished 0.51 seconds back of fellow Canadian Erik Guay, who at 35 became the oldest skier to become an alpine world champion. Norway's Kjetil Jansrud was sandwiched in between in second.
Osborne-Paradis said he was surprised to have posted such a strong result once he had gotten down and crossed the line.
"I made a big mistake in the middle and I knew if I wasn't perfect the rest of the way down that I had no chance," Osborne-Paradis told the FIS website. "But that's the great thing with racing, you never know until you cross the line. Erik called me just before I raced and said, 'Don't think, just go', which is what I did and it worked."
Guay, meanwhile, has had his share of injury challenges in recent years and was thrilled to top the podium.
"With the whole history with all of my injuries and even the crash last week in Garmisch, it's just amazing to be standing here as a world champion. I'm having a hard time finding words to express what this means and how I feel. To be on the podium today with two of my good friends Manny and Kjetil makes it even better," Guay told the website.
The world championships will continue until Feb. 19.
d’Artois top Canadian at Mammoth halfpipe
A week after making his comeback at the X Games, Whistler skier Simon d’Artois continued to take some steps forward.
At the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, d’Artois placed seventh to emerge as the top Canadian in the halfpipe, scoring 86.6. Americans swept the top three spots, with Torin Yater-Wallace (winning with a 92.33), Gus Kenworthy and Taylor Seaton sweeping the podium.
On the women’s side, both Whistler resident Cassie Sharpe and Squamish’s Roz Groenewoud hit the top 10, with Sharpe in sixth and Groenewoud in eighth.
Sharpe scored an even 80.00, but France’s Marie Martinod took the victory running away with a 94.00. American Maddie Bowman placed second and Japan’s Ayana Onozuka was third.
WMSC alums impress at Copper
Broderick Thompson earned himself something a little nicer than copper at Copper Mountain.
The 22-year-old Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) alumnus and current national team member captured a downhill win on the NorAm circuit on Feb. 6, finishing 0.30 seconds ahead of runner-up Sam Morse of the U.S. in the first of two races that day. Thompson also ended up wrapping up the NorAm season in second for the downhill title, just behind Canadian teammate Tyler Werry.
In the second race, former WMSCers in James Crawford and Brodie Seger cracked the top 10 in eighth and 10th, respectively.
On the women’s side, Stefanie Fleckenstein shone, earning an eighth-place finish in the first race before jumping to fourth in the second. Fleckenstein also took a fourth in the giant slalom on Feb. 4. In the overall downhill series, the 19-year-old Fleckenstein finished second to American Alice Merryweather.
Spud Valley Loppet coming
The Spud Valley Loppet will return to Black Tail Meadows on Sunday, Feb. 12.
The annual classic-technique race will begin at 10 a.m., with five-kilometre and 10-km options.
Online registration runs until Friday, Feb. 10 at zone4.ca, while race-day registration will also be offered. A $5 fee will be added to any race-day registration.
Whistler junior hoopsters make provincials
The Whistler Secondary School Storm junior girls basketball team will be off to Langley next month.
The Storm went 3-0 at the regional qualifying tournament at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School in late January.
Whistler powered through its share of close games, edging Yale Secondary 39-36 before besting the hosts 53-48 in the semifinal. In the final, Brookswood led for much of the game, but Whistler stormed back to eke out a 52-50 win. Jenna Tobias was the leading scorer in the first two games with 13 points and 18 points, respectively. Ayden Kristmanson, meanwhile, scored 23 points to lead the way in the final.
Provincials will take place at the Langley Events Centre from March 1 to 4.