The Olympic season began in earnest for members of Canada’s alpine ski teams last week, with the men’s team training on the snow at Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, New Zealand.
Whistler’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who won the first World Cup downhill race of his career in Kvitfjell, Norway last season is one of the 16 ski racers at the high-intensity camp.
“Obviously everyone knows what’s at stake this year with the Olympics in Whistler. And this is the beginning of the process,” said the 24-year-old Osborne-Paradis, a 2006 Olympian who has six career World Cup podium results. “I have actually never been to New Zealand and so I am looking forward to getting there and getting back on the snow.”
The men’s team is highlighted by John Kucera who won the gold medal in the men’s downhill at the World Championships in Val D’Isere, France during the month of February. At the same competition, Jan Hudec fell and injured his knee. After surgery and recovery, Hudec, along with teammates Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Erik Guay will all be training over the summer.
Techincal skier Michael Janyk will be attending the camp after winning a bronze medal, Canada’s first ever World Championship technical medal, also in Val D’Isere.
The ladies team will be headlined by Britt Janyk, Geneviève Simard, Emily Brydon and Kelly VanderBeek, all of whom have earned World Cup podium finishes.