Calgary, Alta. (January 25, 2023) – Frédérique Turgeon (Candiac, QC) and Alexis Guimond, Gatineau (QC) both captured bronze medals in the downhill at today’s FIS Para Alpine World Championships in Espot, Spain. Guimond was the first man down the course in the men-standing race and laid down a time that held up for third place. Turgeon, who has been climbing the standings all week, improved from fifth in Monday’s super-G, to fourth in yesterday’s alpine combined, to stand on the podium today with her third-place finish in the women-standing downhill.
On a windy day that challenged the racers, Turgeon captured her fourth world championships medal to go with a silver and two bronze at the 2019 IPC Alpine World Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovakia. This is Turgeon’s first podium since an injury at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in in Beijing, China.
‘Today felt really awesome,” said a smiling Turgeon. “As a team we were really focused on what we needed to do to nail this course and to keep the racing line. There were some things to clean up and do better but I’m very happy with today’s performance.”
“It feels really good to be back on the podium, especially in the downhill after the crash in Beijing. This is a little surreal.”
Today’s world championships bronze medal is Guimond’s first major event (Paralympics or World Championships) medal in the downhill. He has also won bronze in the giant slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea.
“Today was a good day overall,” said a pleased Guimond. “I think the team really pushed hard and we got some really good results. It’s great to be back on the podium, especially in downhill.”
“The strategy today was to keep focused and to do my best skiing.”
Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB) racing the downhill in men-sitting finished fourth just missing the podium, while Brian Rowland (Merrickville, ON) finished 13th.
The FIS Junior World Ski Championships in St. Anton, Austria, wrapped-up today with the men’s slalom. On a postcard perfect day, Heming Sola (Summerland, BC) led the Canadians with a 14th place finish. Canada had three other men in the top 30 with Oscar Park (Calgary, AB) finishing 21st, Kyle Blandford Oscar (Oakville, ON) 24th and Jesse Kertesz-Knight (Jasper, AB) 26th.
“It was an awesome way for a couple of the guys to wrap up the championships,” said men’s coach, Morgan Pridy. “No one is leaving here satisfied, but to show themselves that they can hang with and beat the best juniors in the world makes today a success.”
“Austria put on a great championship and the venues provided a solid challenge for everyone. Our athletes fought hard and showed glimpses of what they are capable of across all disciplines. The expectations they brought here were high, they asked a lot of themselves, and there were never any excuses.”
“The bulk of this group will be back at world’s next year and I believe that they will be challenging for medals across the board.”
Meanwhile, under a clear blue sky at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup women’s giant slalom in Kronplatz, Italy, Canada’s Valérie Grenier (St-Isidore, ON) was the top Canadian in 14th place. Britt Richardson (Canmore, AB) and Cassidy Gray (Invermere, BC) also raced and missed advancing to the second run.
FIS Para Alpine Ski World Championships 2023 at Espot and La Molina, Spain, continue through January 29th.
Women alpine head to Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia, Jan 28-29
Men speed are in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, for races January 28 and 29.
Ski cross return to World Cup racing in Reiteralm, Austria, February 16 and 17.
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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrated 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.