alpine

Disappointment

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Real disappointment from the Canadian Alpine Ski team. No one can be more disappointed that Manuel Osborne-Paradis. His Olympics are now over.

Do they have the skiers to redeem themselves in the remaining non-speed events?

Over the past two years, Osborne-Paradis has done his best to downplay the Games, at one point saying he would rather win the overall World Cup skiing title than an Olympic gold. In the lead-up to Vancouver, countless reporters asked him how he was going to handle the pressure of skiing in front of hometown fans. His answer was always the same: I’ll treat it like every other event. This afternoon, standing in front of reporters yet again—his medal hopes dashed—he was asked whether the pressure finally got to him. After a long pause, he answered this way: “I liked the pressure. I liked the fact that people’s eyes were on me and wanted me to do well, because I think I’ve always done better like that. The expectations push you harder. I liked it. There was a lot of it here, and it was more than we’ve ever had, but I don’t think I succumbed to anything. I think it was just a good opportunity, and it was an opportunity lost.”

Do Canadians have a right to be disappointed, not only in you, but the rest of your teammates? “They have a reason to be disappointed,” he said. “Everybody has a reason to be disappointed. That’s what the expectations were—and that was our expectation, too.”

Alpine Canada sends 19 to Whistler

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Julien Cousineau, an Olympian after a spectacular 5th in Schladming last weekend

Named to the team today are:

WOMEN

• Brigitte Acton, Mont Tremblant, Que.
• Emily Brydon, Fernie, B.C.
• Marie-Michele Gagnon, Lac Etchemin, Que.
• Anna Goodman, Montreal
• Britt Janyk, Whistler, B.C.
• Shona Rubens, Canmore, Alta.
• Erin Mielzynski, Guelph, Ont.

MEN

• Julien Cousineau, Lachute, Que.
• Robbie Dixon, Whistler
• Jeffrey Frisch, Mont Tremblant
• Erik Guay, Mont Tremblant
• Louis-Pierre Helie, Berthierville, Que.
• Jan Hudec, Calgary
• Michael Janyk, Whistler
• Tyler Nella, Toronto
• Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Invermere, B.C.
• Ryan Semple, Mont Tremblant
• Brad Spence, Calgary
• Trevor White, Calgary

A day of extremes at Lake Louise

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Manny Osborne-Paradis won his first World Cup Super G today in Lake Louise while team leader John Kucera was airlifted off the mountain with a broken leg that will almost certainly keep him out of the upcoming 2010 Games.

Photograph by: Andy Clark, Reuters

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — John Kucera’s 2010 Olympic dream likely ended in a high-speed crash Sunday during the super-G slalom at the Bombardier Winterstart World Cup.

The 25-year-old Calgarian, one of the favourites in the race, suffered a broken left leg when he went off the steepest part of the course as he attempted to complete a C-turn and crashed into a catch net.

He was airlifted off the mountain by helicopter and transported by ground ambulance to Banff hospital for X-rays. An Alpine Canada spokesman revealed that Kucera’s injury will require surgery but didn’t specify which bone was broken.

“It’s a tough day . . . I mean it’s a good day but a tough day,” frowned a concerned teammate Jan Hudec when he learned of the extent of the injury. “He was skiing so good . . .”

The good day were first-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes for the seven-man Canadian team.

Read the whole article here.