MARIE-MICHÈLE GAGNON TOP CANADIAN IN LADIES’ GIANT SLALOM AT WORLDS, PLACING 23RD
Are, SWE (Feb. 14, 2019) – Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac-Etchemin, Que./Mont Orignal) slipped three spots to finish 23rd in the ladies’ giant slalom at the 2019 Audi FIS Alpine World Championships in Are, Sweden.
Both she and teammate Mikaela Tommy (Wakefield, Que./Edelweiss Ski Club) raced under the lights to top-30 finishes for Canada, with Tommy netting out at 26th after two runs.
“I really was trying too hard (in the second run). It’s something I’ve been doing off and on this season,” said Gagnon who was 20th after the first run, giving her an early start position for the second run. In speaking with media in the finish area, she explained that ski racers are always working to find the balance between attacking and feeling the right line. “I had a good result (at the World Cup race) in Maribor; I was relaxed, and just feeling the skis. (Today) after the first run, I was quite a bit behind, so I felt I needed something really special to move forward. It’s an easy mistake to make, because in the end, relaxed skiing is always faster.”
Gagnon has only seen a better result in GS racing at Are once before; she finished 13th in a World Cup giant slalom there in 2014.
Tommy, who splits her time between competing on the World Cup circuit and racing for Colorado University’s Colorado Buffaloes, has had two top-20 World Cup giant slalom results this season.
“It’s a lot to do - school and race the World Cup at the same time - but I manage it. It’s a lot of back-and-forths, a lot of travel, but I enjoy it,” said Tommy, who won two University giant slalom races last month. “The race today wasn’t perfect, but I gave it all I’ve got, I tried my best, I attacked, and I’m proud of my performance.”
Tommy has competed at four World Championships, including Are. Her best result at Worlds were a couple of 22nd-place finishes in both the super-G and the giant slalom in 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Full race results can be found at FIS-SKI.com.
World Championships’ racing is set to resume on Friday with the men’s giant slalom. All races are streamed live at CBCsports.ca.