skiing

McKeever strikes gold for Canada

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After the historic lost opportunity for Brian McKeever to race at the 2010 Olympics, becoming the first athlete ever to compete in both Olympic and Paralympic games, this is a very sweet result. A dominant victory to take some of the sting away from the disappointment from Whistler.

Andy Clark, Reuters Brian McKeever, left, claimed gold--Canada's first in the visually impaired 20-kilometre cross country freestyle event.

Paralympic Games: ‘It couldn’t fall to a more worthy person’
Terry Bell, Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WHISTLER – The 2008 Olympics in Beijing had Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. The 2010 Olympics had Lindsay Vonn and a rather remarkable goal by Sidney Crosby.

The 2010 Winter Paralympics have Brian and Robin McKeever.

Brian McKeever, the 30-year-old legally blind Paralympic cross country skier/ biathlete from Canmore, Alta., is a major star at these Games, his star rising even higher after he had qualified for the Canadian Olympic cross-country team only to be denied a chance to compete by the team’s coaching staff.

Yesterday morning at Whistler Olympic Park, he laced up his boots and with the help of his brother Robin, who acts as his guide, won the men’s 20-kilometre freestyle visually impaired event . The gold medal is Canada’s first at these Games. As this is the first time Canada has hosted the Winter Paralympics, it also marks the first winter gold on Canadian soil.

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=2686762#ixzz0iP5FPIu4

Erik Guay wins GAP Super G and World Cup title

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Phenomenal achievement for Erik! This is huge news. More later.

Photograph by: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Guay wins final race and super-G cup
Thu Mar 11, 2010
By Brian Homewood

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Reuters) – Canada’s Erik Guay won the final super-G of the season to snatch the Alpine ski World Cup title on Thursday.

Guay leapfrogged Michael Walchhofer and Aksel Lund Svindal in the standings after a dramatic finale on a snowy, foggy day to become the first Canadian to win a World Cup title since Steve Podborski was joint downhill champion with Switzerland’s Peter Mueller in 1982.

Read the entire article here.

Erik Guay takes Kvitfjell Super-G

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Free of the super hype surrounding Whistler and the Olympic races there, Guay took his place at the top of the podium today in Kvitfjell, Norway. As he said in interviews, he was .03 off the podium in Whistler and won today by .02. Ridiculously tight results. Other Canadians: Manny Osborne-Paradis finished 11th and Jan Hudec, 17th.

I’d like to see Erik bring his momentum to the World Cup finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen next week. Sentimental location for me, as that was where I taught skiing for a couple of seasons.

Erik Guay kept his slim hopes of claiming the men’s World Cup super-G title alive by taking victory in the event at Kvitfjell.

The Canadian clocked a time of one minute 31.95 seconds to claim his second ever World Cup race win and first in super-G.

Michael Walchhofer missed out on his chance to take an unassailable lead in the standings as the Austrian could only manage a sixth-placed finish.

Walchhofer’s compatriot Hannes Reichelt trailed Guay home by a mere 0.02 seconds.

Olympic star Aksel Lund Svindal, riding on home snow in Norway, shared third place with Swiss Tobias Gruenenfelder.

The result leaves Svindal 46 points behind Walchhofer in the super-G standings, with Guay a further 23 points adrift in third place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Men’s relay pulls off 4th place in elite field

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No, it’s not a medal, but the breakthrough for Canadian men’s XC skiing is phenomenal. In Norway, this relay is regarded as THE prestige event. The cheers that erupted when Bjørn Dæhlie crossed the finish line 2nd in Lillehammer in 1994, 1st in Nagano in 1998, and likely when Petter Northug left his opposition in his wake in the final sprint today, would be deafening. For Canada to be in the top 4 in this kind of company is unprecedented. Another result to savour. Congrats to Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey.

Photograph by: Peter J. Thompson, Canwest News Service

Cross-country: Canadian men’s team achieves new benchmarks
BY MIKE BEAMISH, VANCOUVER SUN
FEBRUARY 22, 2010

WHISTLER — From eighth to fifth, and now fourth: In successive races, the Canadian men’s cross-country ski team has set new benchmarks for achievement in the Winter Olympic Games.

Alex Harvey of Ste-Ferreol Des Neiges, Que., and Devon Kershaw of Canmore, Alta., finished fourth in today’s men’s team sprint at Whistler Olympic Park, two days after Ivan Babikov of Canmore was fifth in the 30K pursuit and a week following Babikov’s eighth-place result in the 15K. Before the Vancouver-Whistler Games, Canada’s highest finish in the history of men’s Olympic cross-country competition was Pierre Harvey’s 14th, at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Today’s result sets up Canada for a medal possibility in Wednesday’s 4×10-kilometre relay. The four-man Canadian team — Babikov, Harvey, Kershaw and Geroge Grey — are considered stronger distance skiers than sprinters.

Read the entire article here.

Canadian XC sprint relay teams through to finals

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Both the men’s and women’s teams have made it through to the XC relay sprint finals.

Getty Images

Men’s semis results. The men finished 4th.

Women’s semis results. The women finished 7th.

Majdic won bronze in XC sprint despite broken ribs, collapsed lung

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This is the most remarkable story of the Olympics to date. It’s unimaginable how a skier could compete at all in a sprint event like this, let alone win a bronze medal.

Posted by Meri-Jo Borzilleri

Turns out, Petra Majdic was more than just bruised when she won bronze in the individual classical sprint on Wednesday.

The Slovenian cross-country star was found to have broken four ribs and suffered a collapsed lung when she fell off course during a training run just before the race.

Majdic’s injuries will end not only her Olympics but her season. She has been hospitalized since the accident, and is not permitted to fly home for at least a week.

Her national team has filed a protest with Olympic organizers that there should have been more protection where she tumbled off the course, falling about 10 feet and onto some rocks.

Majdic, the world’s top-ranked sprinter, did not know how badly she was hurt until after the race.

Amazingly, she managed to capture a medal in the event that requires major lung exertion and hard poling by both arms and torso. In a sprint, skiers race in a small pack and go all out for a total four 1.4-kilometer loops on a hilly, technical course.

Majdic appeared in severe pain, crumpling each of the four times she crossed the finish. Her agony was so apparent that while on course, coaches from rival nations cheered her on, she said.

Read the entire article here.

History made by Canada’s XC skiers

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Amazing results from the Canadian trio of Babikov, Grey and Harvey.

Three skiers in the top nine. Just fantastic!

Canada's George Grey, right, comes to the aid of an exhausted Ivan Babikov after the pursuit on Saturday. (Javier Soriano/Getty Images)

Canada was the only country with three skiers in the top 10.

Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., led the way, just 9.1 seconds back in fifth place.

National team veteran George Grey of Rossland, B.C., was eighth in 1:15.32, immediately followed by Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-nieges, Que., in ninth place.

Harvey was 11 seconds behind Grey.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont. was 16th at 1:16.23.6. A total of 64 from around the world entered the competition.

The Canadians took turns flirting with the lead pack. Grey and Babikov were sitting sixth and seventh respectively at the 22.5k mark, with Harvey overtaking them for a while.

Canadian men have never reached the Olympic podium, but the performance was cause for hope.

To put it into perspective, the top trio of Canadians finished ahead of previous Olympic medallists Petter Northug of Norway, Dario Cologna of Switzerland and Pietro Piller Cotter of Italy.