Calgary, Alta. (November 20, 2017) – The inaugural World Cup speed opener at Lake Louise is just a week away. The only alpine World Cup race held in Canada kicks off this weekend with the men, followed by the ladies’ races on December 1- 3.
With six men and six ladies pushing out of the gate, there are lots of Canadian athletes to cheer on from the finish area. From seasoned veterans, to first-time World Cup starters, it will be an exciting two weekends of high speeds, high energy and lots of national pride. Come out and cheer on your Canadian Olympians or tune into CBC Sports for all the action.
Lake Louise has been good to Canadians with Erik Guay claiming the first ever Canadian podium in 2003, finishing in second-place in the downhill. Twelve Canadians have stood on the podium on home snow at Lake Louise and three have stood on top (John Kucera 2006, Jan Hudec 2007 and Manuel Osborne-Paradis 2009).
With an Olympic season underway, success at Lake Louise could mean the start of qualifying for the Games for many of the athletes.
The Canadian men’s team is led by Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), one of the greatest speed skiers Canada has ever produced. Guay, the 2017 World super-G Champion and downhill silver medallist, will have all eyes on him heading into this season. At 36-years-old, Guay is the longest-standing member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Invermere, B.C.) highlighted last season with a bronze medal in super-G at the World Championships. Osborne-Paradis had five top-10s in speed last season and will be looking to be back on the podium on home snow. A podium Saturday would be extra special for Osborne-Paradis whose daughter will celebrate her first birthday on downhill day.
Dustin Cook (Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que.), 2015 World Championship super-G silver medallist, will be pushing out of the gate looking to find his stride on the track. Last season Cook posted a series of green-lit runs but was unable to hold onto the momentum down the track, failing to find the podium.
Veteran Ben Thomsen (Invermere, B.C.) is returning from an injury and is feeling better and stronger than ever heading into the season. With multiple top-ten downhill results to his name, he’ll be looking for his first ever on home snow.
23-year-old Broderick Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) has been training with this veteran team for a few years and will be hunting down his first top-30 speed result this season.
Also vying for World Cup starts next weekend will be Brodie Seger and Jack Crawford. Both athletes are currently training with the Development Team. Crawford has one super-G World Cup start under his belt from the Kitzbuhel, AUT race last season. Seger has not yet pushed out of a World Cup start gate.
After earning the overall downhill Nor-Am Cup title, Tyler Werry earned a spot in the downhill race on Saturday.
Emily Brydon, Kelly Vanderbeek and Britt Janyk have all stood on the podium on home snow. Brydon was the last Canadian woman to podium at Lake Louise in 2009.
Canada’s rising speed stars are led by Valérie Grenier (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), who secured a personal-best 16th-place in the downhill in 2016. The 21-year-old is one of Canada’s best overall skiers and will be pushing out of the Lake Louise start gate with big goals.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac Etchemin, Que.), did a huge volume of speed training this summer and has found a rejuvenated need-for-speed. This technical skiing guru will be looking to push her limits on the Lake Louise track. With a personal-best sixth-place result in super-G, she’ll be one-to-watch.
Mikaela Tommy (Wakefield, Que.) and Candace Crawford (Toronto, Ont.) are two of Canada’s rising all-around alpine racers. They will both be looking for top-30 results in speed at the ladies’ races.
Last year at Lake Louise, Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler, B.C.) had her first ever World Cup start. She’ll be pushing out of the gate again this year on home snow and teammate, Roni Remme (Collingwood, Ont.) will be hungry for her first World Cup start.
Bring your cowbells and come out to cheer on Canada! It’s free to watch.
For fan information, including directions, VIP tickets and a schedule, visit: http://www.lakelouisealpineskiworldcup.com/fans.html
HOW TO WATCH (times in EST)
For Canadians who can’t be there in person, CBC has you covered.
Saturday, November 25
2:00pm – Men’s Downhill – Stream it live: cbcsports.ca
2:00pm – Men’s Downhill – Watch it: CBC Road to the Olympic Games
Sunday, November 26
2:00pm – Men’s Super-G – Stream it live: cbcsports.ca
3:00pm – Men’s Super-G – Watch it: CBC Road to the Olympic Games
Friday, December 1
2:00pm – Ladies’ Downhill - Stream it live: cbcsports.ca
Saturday, December 2
2:30pm - Ladies’ Downhill - Stream it live: cbcsports.ca
5:00pm – Ladies’ Downhill – Watch it: CBC Road to the Olympic Games
Sunday, December 3
1:00pm – Ladies’ Super-G - Stream it live: cbcsports.ca
4:00pm – Ladies’ Super-G – Watch it: CBC Road to the Olympic Games
For the full broadcast schedule: http://alpinecanada.org/schedule
FOLLOW ALPINE CANADA
For behind-the-scenes content and real-time results:
2003 – Erik Guay – 2nd – Downhill
2006 – Manuel Osborne-Paradis – 2nd – Downhill
2006 – John Kucera – 1st – Super-G
2006 – Kelly Vanderbeek – 3rd – Super-G
2007 – Jan Hudec – 1st - Downhill
2007 – Britt Janyk – 3rd – Downhill
2008 – John Kucera – 2nd – Super-G
2009 – Manuel Osborne-Paradis – 1st – Super-G
2009 – Emily Brydon – 2nd – Downhill
2009 – Emily Brydon 3rd – Downhill
2011 – Manuel Osborne-Paradis – 2nd – Downhill
2014 – Manuel Osborne-Paradis – 2nd – Downhill
From start gate to the podium, we wish the Canadian men’s alpine team the best of luck this coming weekend in Lake Louise. Check out Mackenzie’s new commercial on their sponsored athlete Manny Osborne-Paradis.
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.