Paradis picks up silver in Wengen

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The Wengen course is a fear-inducing string of steep fall-away corners, and especially treacherous near the peak. It’s regarded as one of the most dangerous downhill courses in the world.

Quite an accomplishment for North Vancouver’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis to claim silver here today.

Photograph by: FRANCK FIFE, AFP/Getty Images

Very good article by Stephen Brunt here.

But the course itself is really the thing, the longest and fastest downhill on the circuit, and the kind of crazy layout that a kid might come up with. “They’d never let you design a course like that now,” says the Canadian team’s men’s head coach, Paul Kristofic, and he’s right about that.

Before they get to the finish nearly 4.5 kilometres from the start house, the skiers will have passed through a narrow rock passage (the Hundschopf) followed by a precipitous drop that makes it seem as if they’re falling off a cliff, navigated a wild chicane, gone through a tunnel and over a bridge, and passed through sections named for incidents and people past: the Russi jump, after its builder, Bernard Russi; the Minschkante, where in 1965 Joos Minsch suffered a terrible crash; the Austrian Hole, where during a single race in 1954 a large number of Austrian skiers fell (which in Switzerland counts as a very good day indeed); the Kernen-S, named after 2003 winner Bruno Kernen; and the Canadian Corner, where Dave Irwin wiped out in 1975.

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