Canucks Bolster Veteran Roster With Fresh Talent
Alpine Canada Alpin released its alpine, ski cross, and para-alpine team nominations last week, headlined by World Championship gold and silver medalist Erik Guay. Despite naming a significantly smaller alpine team than its European counterparts with only 12 women and 15 men on the roster, Canada has a number of heavy hitters that have a real chance at medaling in PyeongChang come February.
Guay’s miraculous World Championship performances in St. Moritz were no doubt the highlight of Team Canada’s 2016-17 season, as the 35-year-old became the oldest World Champion ever after taking the super-G title on Feb. 8 and following it up with a silver medal in the downhill four days later.
“I was quite emotional actually,” Guay said of his super-G gold. “I’m glad I had goggles on so nobody could see my eyes.”
It was also Manuel Osborne-Paradis’ first championship medal as he also took bronze in the men’s super-G after a season of ups and downs led to some muted expectations for the 33-year-old Whistler native. Osborne-Paradis admitted that his medal performance might not have been possible if not for the emotional boost he got from watching his teammate Guay take the lead.
“It’s just so good to share it with Erik,” he said. “For him to be the winner, I mean, I think I was able to get third today because he won. I was so jazzed in the start. I had so much more energy. It was pretty cool.”
Joining the veterans on the men’s squad will be a talented young group of skiers who have shown promise at the junior and Continental Cup levels over the past several seasons. Jack Crawford, Brodie Seger, and Jeffery Read will all make the jump up to the World Cup team this coming season.
On the women’s side, veterans Marie-Michele Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski will be joined by the likes of NorAm superstars Allie Nullmeyer and Ameila Smart, both of whom dominated the circuit en route to overall and slalom titles for Nullmeyer and a giant slalom title for Smart.
“It’s definitely different than coming down in a normal FIS race or even a NorAm, where there’s only a few people watching,” Nullmeyer shared after making her debut on the world stage at the World Championship slalom in St. Moritz. “Here, you have the stands and everything, it’s kind of crazy getting used to the TVs, but it’s really exciting and really fun, and it’s been awesome so far.”
The full Canadian roster can be found here.