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THE FREE PRESS Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sports

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Brydon conquers Lake Louise podium Proud mom talks about World Cup ski weekend By Rebecca Edwards Free Press Staff

A

s Emily Brydon skied her way to the Lake Louise podium not once, but twice last weekend, her mom Rosemary and other loyal supporters were there to welcome her over the finish line. Emily took silver place in the downhill race on Friday and bronze in Saturday’s second downhill race at the only Canadian ski World Cup, rushing into the crowd after each win for an emotional embrace with her mother. As her daughter cracked open a double magnum of champagne on the podium, Rosemary also made sure she was close by – by elbowing her way in to the press photographers enclosure. “I wanted to make sure I got a good view,” she told The Free Press after returning home to Fernie. “They gave her this big bottle and two of them were shaking it – you can imagine how far that champagne went.” The wins make Emily the third highest Canadian female ski racer in terms of podium wins - tied with 1970s champion Betsy Clifford. They also mean she has achieved a personal goal, said Rosemary. “She always had three races she wanted to get a podium at – Cortina, St Moritz and Lake Louise. That was always her dream and now she has done it. She had dinner with us that night and she was flying.” Rosemary has attended Lake Louise for many years, with both good and bad memories. Brydon’s best previous result was a fourth place in the downhill in 2003. “At Lake Louise over the years we have covered a lot of different emotions – this was the great one although equally emotional.” While she doesn’t believe in race rituals, she and her “shouting group” from Fernie have gathered home made moose toques, scarves with Go Canada on one side and Go Emily on the other, and a cow bell made at

Emily Brydon (centre back) with her loyal supporters at Lake Louise last weekend, including mom Rosemary (centre front in black) Submitted photo

Fernie Forge. The only rule they have is that they cheer for every single racer, especially in Canada where there are very few spectators in comparison to the European races where train-loads of fans turn out to watch.

In her own words - Emily Brydon “This is a huge weight off my shoulders because I have been waiting a long time to be on the podium here. I call it a ‘mini-Olympics’ for me. “I had a lot of ups and downs but they were all part of the journey to get here. “This is a great way to start the season and with Britt [Janyk, of Whistler] in fourth it reassures the world that we are back, and that we are in a very powerful position right now. I couldn’t be happier.” Press conference after her first podium on Friday. “This is what I grew up in. This is the powder, this is Fernie and why not make it my day.” Speaking about the snow flurries falling at Lake Louise during the race weekend.

However, even when Rosemary is standing at the side of the course she can’t bring herself to watch Emily racing. “I just don’t watch the screen. The others were all getting extremely excited so I knew it was a good one. “When she raced the first day she was relatively early so it was exciting after she was down because then I could look at all the others. I like early bibs and so does she.” Rosemary is travelling to watch Emily in Cortina, Italy in January but until then is expecting some sleepless nights as she waits for news of Emily’s races in Europe, which usually take place at 3 a.m. Canadian time. The first European race is in Val d’Isere on Dec. 16. She usually gets a phone call from her sister in Britain to say Emily has completed the race safely but has learned not to use the internet on race nights. “Here in Canada we can only see the live timing of races – no videos – so if you watch it live all you can see is the times going past and if it stops, you don’t know why or what has happened.” • Rosemary Brydon is selling Right to Play 2010 calendars, which feature Emily as one of the charity’s athlete ambassadors. Calendars cost $20 with proceeds going to the Toronto charity which uses sport and games to teach life skills to children and their families in 26 developing countries. Call 250-423-4782.

Best Western Proud sponsor of… The Free Press’s Fernie Mountain Lodge ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

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Room Specials 1622 7th Avenue FERNIE, B.C. Emily Brydon on the Lake Louise podium at last. Photo by R. Brydon

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Emily Brydon Fernie born Emily Brydon made her goal of reaching the podium at the Lake Louise World Cup not once, but twice last weekend, taking silver and bronze.

Congratulations Emily!


Brydon Lake louise