Wednesday, November 21, 2012

World Cup Skiing at Lake Louise This Weekend

Are you near Lake Louise this weekend? The Alpine Skiing World Cup is making a stop at Lake Louise for the first downhill race of the season. It's your chance to support our Canadian athletes!

There is much excitement for the Canadian team with a few skiers coming back from injury and some great results last season that included five podium appearances.

Erik Guay got our string of podiums started when he finished 2nd at Garmisch at the end of January.  Two races later in Chamonix, we had three Canadians in the top 5 (with only three Canadians competing)! Jan Hudec was 1st, Erik Guay was 3rd and Ben Thomsen who started 50th was an incredible 5th. You can read my blog post about that exciting race here (which includes more background about Ben and Jan).  Thomsen wasn't done there however.  The following week he reached his first podium by finishing 2nd at the 2014 Olympic venue in Sochi. Jan Hudec would later add a podium in Super-G.

These results along with the return of John Kucera and Manuel Osborne-Paradis bodes well for the Canadian Ski Team.

Another reason to be excited for the team is that this season is the year of the World Championships which are held every two years.

In 2009 John Kucera won the race in Val D'Isère and Erik Guay won in 2011 at Garmisch. Can Canada three-peat this season?

Erik Guay is only three podiums away from matching Steve Podborski's 20 podium finishes by a Canadian.  In 2010, he won the Crystal Globe for Super-G, the award given to the overall points leader at the end of the season.

He was injured in training back in September and had surgery to repair the ligament damage.  He had his first day on the snow two weeks ago but you wouldn't be able to tell from his first training run today where he was 4th fastest.

With six "Canadian Cowboys" competing this season (an elite group reserved for Canadian skiers who have earned a world podium), hopes are high for continued great results.

Competing this weekend are Erik Guay, Jan Hudec, Ben Thomsen, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, John Kucera, Conrad Pridy, Morgan Pridy, Dustin Cook and Jeffrey Frisch.

If you're near Lake Louise, wear your red and white and cheer extra loud for me. I wish I was there. I have only skied Lake Louise once but it was incredible!

I haven't witnessed a World Cup race (yet), but I was lucky enough to meet Erik two years ago when he was in Toronto with the Crystal Globe. John Kucera was also there. You can read the post about the meeting here.

Here's this weekend's schedule:
Wednesday, November 21 - Men's Downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Thursday, November 22 - Men's Downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Friday, November 23 - Men's Downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Saturday, November 24 - Men's Downhill (11:30 a.m.)
Sunday, November 25 - Men's Super-G (11 a.m.)

If you can't make it to Lake Louise, you can follow live timing here.

The downhill race will be televised on CBC on Saturday 1:00pm Eastern.

The Super-G race will be televised on CBC on Sunday 3pm local time. It will be shown live at and televised on CBC Bold at 12:55pm Eastern.

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