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CANADA’S SNOWSPORTS JOURNAL

2010 BEST EVER

COMMEMORATIVE PHOTO ISSUE

Spring 2010 $9.95 Volume 5, Number 7 www.srcmag.ca


Jean-Philippe Roy

Passion* Great athletes have great passion: for the exhilaration of going faster and further, for the thrill of testing their own limits and for the satisfaction of taking their sport to new heights. We follow their highs and lows for the sheer joy of watching great men and women give it everything they’ve got. Good luck to all our athletes as they compete on the world stage. Proud to say we support Alpine Canada Alpin.

www.pwc.com/ca/alpine

*connectedthinking © 2010 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity. 6047-0110 Jean-Philippe Roy photographed by ACA/Pentaphoto.


Photo: John Evely/CCC


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THE LANGE RACING BOOT, VANCOUVER’S CHAMPION A BIG CHEER AND THANK YOU FOR THE ATHLETES !


Alpine Canada Alpin would like to offer a huge congratulations to Erik Guay for capturing the World Cup Crystal Globe in Super G. This marks the fi rst time a Canadian has lifted the Crystal Globe since Steve Podborski in 1982. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a testament to the Canadian Alpine Ski Teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consistent performance and competitive drive. A spirit shared by Alpine Canada Alpin and our supporters. Now the world will know what the G stands for in Super G.


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EDITOR’S

By Gordie Bowles

NOTE

Spring 2010 Volume 5, Number 7

EDITORIAL/PRODUCTION Editor-in-Chief

Gordie Bowles

Publisher

Mark Kristofic

Graphic Designer Senior Editors

Mark Tzerelshtein Michael Mastarciyan Don Cameron

Senior Photographer

Paul Morrison

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Tom McCarthy, Sean Stevens, Gary Kingston, Meredith Gardner, Brian Stemmle, Carl Petersen, Michael Mastarciyan, John Evely, Marina Ellis, Oliver Kraus, Michel Painchaud, Howard Cole. ADVERTISING Sales Manager

Mark Kristofic mark@bkmedia.ca

WEB SITE Webmaster

Don Cameron webmaster@srcmag.ca

SRC is an independent publication of BK Media Inc. and is published eight times per year. Editorial Office: 5562 4th Ave. Delta, B.C., V4M 4H2. Subscriptions: For circulation inquiries or address updates, contact subscriptions@srcmag.ca or visit www.srcmag.ca. Publication Mail Agreement: 41254013. Canada Post number 7229094. ISSN: 1913-9861, SRC (Print), ISSN 1913-987x (SRCmag.ca).

BEST EVER he XXI Olympic Winter Games had a profound effect on Canadians. The athletic performances and the rich stories behind them touched Canadians deeply, and we might never be the same. In the midst of early-Games glitches and an ambivalent atmosphere, something magical was happening where everyday Canadians — volunteers, fans and workers — from every corner of the country, regardless of socio-economic, political and racial background, were rejuvenated and united by the spirit of the Games. And that, for reasons I cannot fully understand — or dare explain — is what being a Canadian is all about. The SRC staff that attended the Games were not immune to the pull of the patriotism that consumed us all. Every night our humble “SRC Haus” at Whistler Creekside was full of post-race chatter as we all poured back in from the 38 snowsports events that we covered to the best of our ability at Cypress, Whistler Olympic Park and of course Whistler Creekside. “Wow, that was a real moment,” said SRC photographer Paul Morrison after watching Chris Del Bosco crash and burn and then lay his heart on his sleeve for the world to see. “That dude has had a wild ride, coming back from addiction to put it all on the line, that was real.” “Did you guys hear that crowd after Alex won,” I said to the group after rolling into Whistler in the wee hours after the men’s moguls. “And here’s the best part: He dedicated his win to his older brother who has cerebral palsy. There wasn’t a dry eye at the press conference. Alex is more of a champion than I thought.” “McKeever was robbed big time,” said Tom McCarthy, cross-country reporter, to a living room full of nodding heads. “This guy deserves this shot and there’s no way the other guys are fresh for the 50K.” How’s that for objective comments? Yikes. But you see, the Olympics inspired all of us beyond the point of objectivity. We drank beer, yelled at the TV and savoured every one of the 26 medals just like the rest of the millions of Canadians who tuned in or watched live. The 17 days of the Vancouver-Whistler Games felt like Christmas, and we didn’t want it to end. This magazine is our attempt to honour this special time in our history. We have collected all of the breathtaking images that properly tell the story by showing you the story. We want this magazine to be as relevant to your eyes in 2020 as it is today, just a few short weeks after the Games have completed. We hope you enjoy this look back at the BEST-EVER Games.

T

“We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Magazine Fund toward our editorial costs.” Gordie Bowles Editor-in-Chief

www.bkmedia.ca

PHOTO: The “team” during the SRC Part’eh at the GLC during the last week of the Games. Clockwise from left: Tom McCarthy (cross-country reporter), Mark Kristofic (publisher, video and social media), Gordie Bowles (editor, reporter for Cypress events), Paul Morrison (photographer, alpine and ski cross events), Dustin Titus (social media and videographer), John Evely (photographer, nordic events and alpine). Missing: Don Cameron (editor), Mark Tzerelshtein (graphic designer). Photo by: Malcolm Carmichael (peakphotography.ca)

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ENTRY POINT Images of the Games to remember for a lifetime

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VICTORY FOR THE BLUE Blue-jacket army wins the battle over Whistler weather

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PARTY CRASHERS U.S. moguls veterans Kearney and Bahrke upend Canadian Heil

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GOLDEN HEART

Canadian Bilodeau scorches

to iconic status 32

MAGICAL MAËLLE

Maëlle Ricker turns

Cypress into gold-fest 36

DEFAGO AND BODE SHOW The other Didier wins Whistler downhill, Bode rejuvenated

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WHO YOU CALLIN’ “OLD MAN”? Jasey-Jay upends junior competitors for storybook finish

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VONN’S VOYAGE The Vonn-tourage’s Vonnderful (and not) Vonn-couver Games

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DASHIN’ DEVON

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SOLO FLIGHT

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AIMING HIGH Jean-Philippe Le Guellec turns in solid biathlon effort for Canada

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TOUGH TASK Crawford and the Canadian women find XC track slanted toward Norwegian team

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WIN AT ALL COSTS Chris Del Bosco earns admiration for his driven mentality

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RING LEADER

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SWEDE RUN!

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FACES IN THE CROWD

Kershaw, Harvey, Babikov and Grey complete historic Games Austria claims three ski jump medals ... with best view in the house

Ashleigh McIvor reels in gold in the inaugural Olympic ski cross Andre Myhrer takes first alpine medal for Sweden in 22 years Fans from all over the

world paraded their colours 66

THE AFTERLIFE Own the Podium was bold ... did it work? By Gordie Bowles

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FAMILY SPIRIT

Whatever the dialect, families

shine at Olympics

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ENTRY POINT BLAST OFF â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Snowboarder Johnny Lyall of Vancouver, B.C., launches through the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics at BC Place in Vancouver. 32.4 million Canadians tuned in to watch the starting point of the Games. Photo by Agence Zoom

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CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR — Canadian Erik Guay scorches the second run of the men’s giant slalom en route to the second-fastest time in the run, 16th overall on the day. Guay was the lone standout for the men’s alpine team at the Games with a fifth-place finish in both the super-G and the downhill. He finished just off the podium, by .03 seconds in the super-G and .24 seconds in the downhill. Photo by Paul Morrison/SRC

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MEGA-EXPOSURE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; More than 10,000 media representatives covered the 17 days of events at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, with an estimated 3.5 billion television viewers tuning in and millions more following the Games online and in the print media. Photo by Paul Morrison/SRC

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VICTORY FOR THE BLUE

An army of hundreds of volunteers worked feverishly to repair a damaged track after steady rains and warm temperatures challenged the first week of the Games. But the “blue jackets” were victorious — with much-needed help with the appearance of the sun and a cold front — delivering impeccably run and memorable alpine races. Photos by John Evely/SRC (left) and Paul Morrison/SRC

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PARTY CRASHERS U.S. moguls workhorse Hannah Kearney (above, bib No. 3) stunned the crowd with an error-free run on a rainy Cypress night, taking the top spot on the podium ahead of Canadian Jenn Heil (bib No. 1) and U.S. teammate Shannon Bahrke. Left, Heil awaits the final scores for Kearney. Opposite page, Heil was solid enough to secure silver (top), while Canadian Kristi Richards (bottom) placed fourth in qualifying but finished out of contention after a risk-all approach in her final run. Photos by Mike Ridewood

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GOLDEN HEART Alexandre Bilodeau speaks to the media after becoming an Olympic champion and Canadian icon in a mere 25 seconds after he scorched down the Cypress Mountain moguls course, bumping embittered Canadian-turned-Australian Dale Begg-Smith (left), his chief rival, to the next step of the podium. When Frenchman Gilbaut Colas’ scores flashed across the jumbotron and fell short of the Canadian’s marks, Bilodeau pumped his fists in the air, saluted the screaming crowd and promptly rushed over to his family — particularly older brother Frederic, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is his “source of inspiration” — in what might be the most poignant moment of the 2010 Games. Photo by John Evely/SRC Camera: Nikon D3S 1/200 sec at f4.5 160 mm (lens: Nikon 70-200 f 2.8) ISO 1250

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A CANADIAN ICON — Alexandre Bilodeau (above) looks to the skies as he receives the gold medal, claiming Canada’s first-ever gold medal awarded on Canadian soil, or snow. Right: Canadian Vincent Marquis scorches down Cypress Mountain during the men’s finals, catapulting to fourth place after finishing the qualification heat in 13th. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC

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CYPRESS WONDERKIDS Fans erupt after Canadian Maëlle Ricker tamed her hometown hill at Cypress Mountain, winning the women’s snowboardcross event for Canada’s second gold medal of the Games and fourth Canadian medal on the mountain in four days. Photo by Paul Morrison/SRC Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III Aperture: 4.65 FNumber: 5 Focal Length: 180 ISO Speed Ratings: 400 Shutter Speed Value: 9.97

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MAGICAL MAËLLE — Maëlle Ricker (left) waves to a crowd of about 8,000 after a storybook finish for the veteran rider, who was knocked out of the medals in 2006 at the Torino Games. At Cypress she was rock-solid, taking an early lead in the finals and cruising to Canada’s first women’s gold medal at the Vancouver Games. Swiss Olympian Mellie Francon (above) rides to a seventh-place finish. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC

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HEARTBREAK HILL 34 SRC www.srcmag.ca

Racing in their hometown, on the mountain where they learned to ski, Whistlerites Robbie Dixon (above) and Manny Osborne-Paradis failed to live up to the pre-Games hype that had them favoured to medal in the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downhill or super-G. Dixon placed second and third in the two training runs but crashed out mid-mountain in the downhill, while Osborne-Paradis finished 17th in the downhill and did not finish the super-G. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC(left) and John Evely.


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DEFAGO AND BODE SHOW â&#x20AC;&#x201D; All eyes were on Swiss World Cup leader Didier Cuche entering the Games, but teammate Didier Defago (left and centre above, bib No. 18) stole the show at Whistler, winning the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downhill ahead of Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal (bib No. 16) and a rejuvenated Bode Miller (bib No. 8 and right), who captured three alpine medals. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC (Defago, Miller) and John Evely/SRC (podium, course)

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AUSTRIA POWER OUTAGE — Once known as the Austria Power Team with the likes of Hermann Maier and Stephan Eberharter leading the charge, the Austrians men’s alpine team was shut out of the medals at Whistler. Team leader Michael Walchhofer (left) failed to score as the Austrian suffered their worst alpine effort since the 1936 Games. The Austrian women, however, were boosted by Elisabeth Goergl’s (below) gold medal in the giant slalom. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC

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SLOPE QUEENS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Rising star Canadian Erin Mielzynski (above) was 20th in slalom for a strong effort in her Olympic debut. Teammate Emily Brydon (left), finished a distant 16th in the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downhill before crashing out in the super-G. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC

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WHO YOU CALLIN’ “OLD MAN”? One of the winningest snowsports competitors of all time, Canadian Jasey-Jay Anderson celebrates after finally claiming the missing piece of the puzzle for his storied career: an Olympic gold medal. Fighting fog, rain and more rain, Anderson blazed down the men’s parallel giant slalom course ahead of Austrian Benjamin Karl in the head-to-head finals. The 34-year-old Canuck rider overcame a first-run deficit of .76 seconds to fill out his impressive résumé with Olympic hardware, in a career that includes eight World Cup titles and two World Championships victories. Photo by: Martin Bureau/AFP-Getty Images

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VONN’S VOYAGE

The Vonn-tourage experienced some Vonn-derful and some not-so-Vonn-derful Olympic moments at the Vonn-couver Games. The American displayed some of her athletic dominance in the women’s downhill race (left), winning the coveted gold medal in a race some were calling the best women’s downhill of all time. But the American beauty also experienced some lows during the Whistler stint, including a bruised shin from a pre-Olympic training crash, a fall in the slalom leg of the super-combined, a broken finger suffered in the giant slalom and reported infighting with teammate Julia Mancuso. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC (left) and John Evely www.srcmag.ca

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HOMETOWN GAL — Britt Janyk's sixth in the downhill (left) was the top performance from the Canadian women's alpine team on the Whistler slopes. Janyk, like Erik Guay in the men’s downhill, nearly capitalized on the massive Canadian support at Whistler. “I was standing in the start gate thinking, 'Wow, this is incredible, this is my hill, my hometown, and the crowd is here for me,' ” Janyk said. “I really tried to take that feeling with me down the course.” Maria Riesch of Germany (right) roared to gold in the slalom and super-combined.  Austria, shut out on the men's side, got gold from Andrea Fischbacher (below) in the super-G. Fischbacher gained redemption after placing a tantalizing fourth in the downhill. Alpine bibs line the safety netting (bottom far left). American Julia Mancuso (bottom right) reinforced her big-event reputation by skiing to silver in the downhill and super-combi. Photos by Paul Morrison/SRC

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DASHINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; DEVON Canadian Devon Kershaw takes the early lead in the men's team sprint. Paired with Alex Harvey, Kershaw battled with the leaders throughout the final, sprinting to the lead for parts of his final leg. He handed off to Harvey in a medal position and the Canadians hung on to fourth place, the nation's best-ever finish in the event. Photos by John Evely/SRC Camera: Nikon D3s 1/3200 sec at f4.0 300 mm (lens: Nikon 200-400 f4) ISO 200

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DAYLIGHT DRAMA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Alex Harvey, far left, stretches for the finish line in the men's two-person sprint relay, giving Canada the fourth position. Bottom, Harvey savors the effort with teammate Devon Kershaw, who also placed fourth in the 50 kilometre. Russian Nikita Kriukov (left) savors his gold after the winning the sprint classic race. Photos by John Evely/SRC

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SOLO FLIGHT Swiss veteran Simon Ammann captured two gold medals to emerge as the ski jumping king of the Vancouver Games, while Austria led with three total medals. A ski jump competitor, seen here, soars off the jump at Whistler Olympic Park. Photo by John Evely/SRC Camera: Nikon D3s 1/640 sec at f6.7 340 mm (lens: Nikon 200-400 f4) ISO 500

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AIMING HIGH Led by Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (far right), the Canadian biathlon team turned in a solid effort on home snow, with Le Guellec finishing a historic sixth in the 10-kilometer sprint at the Vancouver Games, for the nation’s best-ever men’s Olympic biathlon performance. On the women's side, Zina Kocher (right) takes aim during the 15 km individual. Kocher and teammates have their sights set on hardware at the 2014 Sochi Games. Liudmila Kalinchik of Belarus (below left) catches her breath after an intense competition. Photos by John Evely/SRC

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TOUGH TASK Torino 2006 team sprint gold medallist Chandra Crawford (18) and the Canadians found the Whistler crosscountry sprint track slanted heavily in favour of the juggernaut Norwegian team, which nailed gold and placed three racers in the top 10. Marit Bjoergen won the race. Â Photos by John Evely/SRC Camera: Nikon D3S 1/2000 sec at f5.6 290 mm (lens: Nikon 200-400 f4) ISO 400

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THE DAILY GRIND â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Sara Renner (left), a 2002 Olympic team sprint silver medallist with teammate Beckie Scott, earned Canada's top women's finish at the Vancouver Games, placing 10th in the 15 km pursuit. Daria Gaiazova (below) was a solid 22nd to lead the team in the individual sprint. Slovenia's Petra Majdic (right), claimed an inspirational bronze in the sprint despite suffering four broken ribs and a collapsed lung when she crashed during training, falling on a sharp curve and tumbling off the course. Photos by John Evely/SRC

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WIN AT ALL COSTS Chris Del Bosco had bronze in his sights but gold in his dreams, so the Canadian ski cross star took an Olympic-sized gamble. He lost, but earned admiration for his driven mentality. The hardcharging Del Bosco crashes off the final kicker (right), emerging with facial cuts (below) but a resilient spirit and a target of 2014 redemption. Last-minute Olympic team addition Davey Barr (bottom left) finished sixth, while the Canadian supporters were left to appreciate the efforts of gold medallist Michael Schmid of Switzerland (podium, center), silver medallist Andreas Matt (podium, left) and bronze medallist Audun Groenvold. Photos by Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated-Getty Images (top right) and Paul Morrison/SRC

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RING LEADER Ashleigh McIvor, who grew up on the slopes of Whistler, endured challenging Cypress weather to reel in gold in the inaugural Olympic ski cross competition, atoning for Canadian heartbreak two days earlier when Chris Del Bosco crashed and missed the podium. Photos by John Evely/SRC

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SWEDE RUN! Andre Myhrer of Sweden took home the slalom bronze for the first alpine medal for the Swedish men’s team in 22 years. The 27-year-old, who finished fourth in slalom at the 2006 Torino Games, was a distant 10th place after the first run but stormed down the mountain on the final alpine run of the Olympics with the second-fastest time to take Sweden’s first men’s medal since Lars-Borje Eriksson in super-G at Calgary in 1988. Photo by: Paul Morrison/SRC

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FACES IN THE CROWD The XXI Olympic Winter Games were a spectatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paradise, with fans from all over the world crowding the streets of Vancouver, Whistler Village and all sporting venues in between. Canadian fans put aside their world-famous modesty and loudly celebrated their athletes, while fans from other countries paraded their emblems and flags with pride, as well as the colours of their homeland, boosting the spirit of the Games. Photos by John Evely/SRC

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THE AFTERLIFE Own the Podium was bold ... did it work?

e Canadians might be quite good at “owning” the podium — well, at least the top step — but we sure are a fickle bunch. Most of the black-and-white press across the country trashed Canada’s athletes and programs for failing to collect hardware during the first week of the Olympic Winter Games, but the backpedaling started once the Maple Leaf had hauled in a record 26 medals and an astonishing 14 gold medals, an all-time Winter Games high. Canadians promptly switched gears, reveling in the success of their athletes, while the federal government ramped up taxpayer dollars to continue to help finance the country’s quest to “own the podium.”

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In early March, days after the closing ceremony, the federal budget earmarked an additional $34 million over the next two years to support training programs for summer and winter Olympic athletes. The new money is on top of the $11 million a year the federal government will continue to pump into the OTP initiative, funding that started five years ago. Some fear the equity between summer and winter financing will water down the chances of snowsports to continue supporting its programs to the same level, but it sure beats the goose egg. Alpine Canada president Gary Allan, who recognized the alpine teams’ failure to medal, said the increased spending on OTP will ensure

BY GORDIE BOWLES

progress will continue for Canada’s skiers. “The fact alpine skiers did not medal at the 2010 Olympic Games is a reminder that there is much more to be done, that this is just the beginning of the process,” Allan said. “The impact of this funding has already been felt, with Canadian ski racers achieving the most successful four-year cycle in our history, including a world champion, three world championship medallists and six different World Cup winners. “In the past five years, OTP funding has enabled Canadian ski racers to work with top coaches, pursue leading-edge sport science technology as well as support training and competition programs,” said Allan.


Erik Guay won two World Cup super-G races in Norway and Germany following the Olympics, claiming the overall super-G title in the process at Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany, the site of his first World Cup win in 2007. Photo: ACA/Penta Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal shows his collection of medals from the 2010 Games. Photo: Agence-Zoom

Shona Rubens led Canada with a 12th-place finish in the women’s super-combined, but the Canadian women failed to podium during the Vancouver Games.

SVINDAL, MORRISON AMONG OTP CRITICS The world’s biggest alpine superstar — Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal — commented that OTP might have hindered the Canadian alpine chances in Whistler. At a postrace press conference after winning the men’s super-G, Svindal said the program did Canadians a disservice by preventing him from training with the Canadian alpine team on the Whistler slopes, as he’d done in the past. With three medals at the Games, the thoughtful Norwegian — who is good friends with a few members of the Canadian team — has a point. After watching Svindal dominate the middle section of the course during the downhill and superG, Canadian coaches must have cringed when pondering the benefits training with the 26-yearold could have had on young Canuck team. Denny Morrison, Canada’s top speed skater, also lashed out at the ambitious Own the Podium program, which prevented him from training with American Shani Davis, the gold medallist in the 1,500-metre race. Morrison, who finished a dismal ninth in the race, said his technique has fallen off since the days he trained with Davis in Calgary before the 2006 Torino Games. “There’s a lot of ways of looking at it,” Morrison said. “I mean, I just think it would be nice to train with Shani and be able to have him push me or pull me,” Morrison said. “There was a time, back in the day, we used to just every day in practice push each other. You’ve all heard the story —

Svindal, who earned three medals at the Games, said Own the Podium kept him from training with the Canadian team, which he had done in previous seasons. Photo: John Evely/SRC

he was faster than me and eventually I was able to keep up to him.”

ARE SPORT LEADERS LISTENING TO THE ATHLETES? Erik Guay, Canada’s top-ranked alpine skier and winner of the overall World Cup title in men’s super-G, says Own the Podium needs to listen to athletes if the program hopes for better success at the next Olympics. Agreeing that the injection of money into Canadian sport was badly needed, Guay also said he believes there could have been a greater return on the investment if officials had listened to what athletes wanted.

“Sometimes their direction is wrong,” Guay told Canadian media after finishing 16th in the giant slalom. “If at least they listened to what we have to say, and they listen to how we think we can get improvement, at least they would have that.” Guay’s fifth-place finishes in the downhill and super-G were Canada’s best alpine results at the Games. He missed the podium in the super-G by three-hundredths of a second. “It’s easy for somebody to sit down, chalk up a bunch of results, then puff out their chest and say we are going to do this and do that,” Guay told The Canadian Press last spring. “It’s another thing to go out and deliver. That’s what the athletes have to do. “If it’s the Canadian men’s hockey team that says we guarantee a gold, that’s one thing. But if it’s some guy at the COC that is saying we guarantee they are going to win gold, that’s not fair. That does add pressure. “I know what they were trying to do,” he said. “They were trying to get Canadians fired up. Setting big goals, ambitious goals, for the team is a good thing.

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of a second is tough to find. If you are training faster and better, you can find the half-second.” Guay, 28, said his experience gave him an edge over younger teammates such as Dixon, 25, and Manuel Osborne-Paradis, 26, in handling the Olympic pressure. “Watching Robbie and Manny, they are three or four years younger than me,” he said. “They never really had been in the situation where they are the guys to watch coming into the Games.”

VIEW FROM THE BRASS: ROSY

Canadian youngster Robbie Dixon — as well as Manuel Osborne-Paradis — showed that the pressure of Own the Podium was fierce. The 25year-old Dixon, racing on his home mountain, posted the second-fastest training run, but mistakes early in the men’s downhill took him out of contention. Photo: John Evely/SRC

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“The downside is it does add some pressure to the athletes that are competing.” Guay also questioned the value of the use of the Global Positioning System that was developed for the alpine team as part of OTP’s $7.5million Top Secret program. The system was supposed to help skiers find the fastest route down the mountain and aid technicians in deciding which ski and wax combinations work best. “If I had the final word on what to do with stuff, I would have allocated it a little differently,” said Guay. “The GPS thing is great in theory. But for a skier to get better it’s pretty simple. All he has to do is ski. The more you ski, the better you get. The technological advantages for one one-hundredths

At the conclusion of the Games, the top brass at both the national and international levels couldn’t help but do a little chest thumping about the end result for the host nation. Marcel Aubut, the incoming president of Canadian Olympic Committee, said that while the program sparked debate among Canadians and the media, it sparked national pride. “As I said in the opening press conference, we were going to own the podium and we did — the very top of the podium,” Aubut said. “Our very own Canadian team has reached a new level of excellence. The Games have produced heroes from all corners of their country. What a tremendous accomplishment.” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge agreed. “It is paramount for the home team to win to create the sort of atmosphere we have seen,” he said. “I believe Own the Podium is a success. There has been criticism but you can legitimately ask whether there would have been any gold without (it).” “Our goal for these Games was to end at a place that the Canadian Olympic team had never been to in an Olympics Winter Games. And we believe we’ve achieved that result: 26 medals won,” said Michael Chambers, COC president. “Canadian athletes have won more medals at this Olympic Winter Games than any Canadian Olympic team has ever won, [and] Canadian athletes have won more gold medals ... than any host nation has ever won. “I don’t think we set the wrong target at all. By setting the target that we did we won [14] gold,” Chambers said. “The fact that our breadth of what we were seeking to grab was a little bit different than what we got, it was still the best Christmas present I ever opened up.” As Chambers contested, it is possible the unCanadian and somewhat impolite literal statement of the OTP program caused more pressure than necessary, but Canadian athletes came and left the Games not with a “swagger” but with confidence, and as a result they inspired a nation. SRC


WHATEVER THE DIALECT, FAMILY SPIRIT SHINES BRIGHT AT OLYMPICS BY MICHAEL MASTARCIYAN

ne of the best things about skiing is the family aspect of the sport we love so much. During the recent Olympic Winter Games, I had the great fortune of reconnecting with many of the families of the Canadian racers. Families such as the Osbornes, Dixons, Hudecs, Kuceras, Guays, Brydons, Janyks and VanderBeeks, who I’ve come to know over the years both professionally and personally, and in some way regard as part of my own extended ski family. Some however, I had never met. Waiting for a Whistler Village-bound bus after the men’s giant slalom, I noticed a man walking toward me in a Norwegian alpine team jacket. I’d

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“Oh dear, don’t tell Jan he’s the exact image of Kjetil,” Inge-Helen Jansrud, KJ’s mom, said with a giggle. “It will go right to his head!” Minutes later after congratulating them on their son’s freshly won silver GS medal, we exchanged hugs and addresses, and I bid the Jansruds goodbye and wore a big smile all the way back to my condo. Another chance family meeting happened on a day off from racing. Riding the Peak 2 Peak Gondola

with my esteemed colleague and new ski buddy Gerry Dobson, I stumbled across Julia Mancuso’s grandparents Sheila and Denny Tuffanelli. “We were in Turin four years ago and wouldn’t

Michael Mastarciyan posing with Inge-Helen and Jan Jansrud, parents of Kjetil.

miss seeing our granddaughter at the Olympics for the world,” Sheila told me after I unknowingly asked her why she had come to Whistler with her husband. “Your granddaughter isn’t Jules is it?” I asked with a grin. “Why yes it is, how did you know?” she replied. “Well, let’s just say I can see the family resemblance,” I said with a smile. The generational bond that seems to keep families that ski together, together, was made abundantly clear to me when I walked into the Creekside location of Skiis and Biikes/SnowCovers. The store was full of customers, but it was also full of VANOC volunteers in their blue Smurf jackets. “You guys running a sale for volunteers here or do you know these people personally?” I asked Skiis and Biikes president Paul Montgomery. “Nope. The people with blue jackets in this shop are all Montgomerys and all Olympic volunteers!” he said proudly. “Skiing is the ultimate family sport. Where else would you find three generations working and playing together at the Olympics? This is a pretty special experience we’ll never forget!” SRC

Julia Mancuso’s grandparents Sheila (left) and Denny Tuffanelli (third from left).

The Montgomery clan.

like to think I channeled Sherlock Holmes to deduce who he was, but the resemblance to his fast-skiing son was uncanny. “Excuse me, are you Kjetil’s dad?” I asked. “Yes, how did you know?” he replied with a hearty Norwegian laugh. “Well, the fact that he’s a good buddy of mine and a clone of you made it pretty obvious,” I said with a chuckle.

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SRC 69


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