A 20-year skiing medal drought is over for Canadian men, after Calgary’s Jan Hudec won bronze in the super-G event at the Winter Olympics on February 16th in Sochi, Russia.
Hudec, 32, posted a time of 1:18.67, tying 36-year-old U.S. skier Bode Miller for bronze. Mr. Hudec started in the 22nd position, and layed down a blistering run in becoming the first Canadian skier to step onto an Olympic podium since Edi Podivinsky took bronze in the downhill in the 1994 Winter Games.
Invermere’s Manny Osborne-Paradis finished 24th, in his final race of what he considered a string of disappointing Olympic performances, after starting in the 30th position.
“Such an upsetting week masked by the tremendous result of (Jan Hudec),” he wrote on Twitter.” So incredibly proud of him and his service.”
The morning race in Sochi, which had its start time moved up by an hour as temperatures were a warm 10 C, took place on Saturday evening at 11 p.m. Columbia Valley time.
It was another less-than-ideal 30th place start number for Manny, who was initially slated to start fourth in the downhill event on Saturday, February 8th. On the re-draw, required because of a human error, he wound up starting 30th. He also lost a possible podium spot in the 2006 Olympics in Turin due to weather.
In another message posted before he left Sochi on Monday, February 17th, Manny added he was “not at all happy with my performances. Time to head home and recharge the batteries for the rest of the season. Still had an amazing experience at the games and stoked on how many new friends I’ve made. Team Canada’s staff and athletes are amazing.”
Mr. Hudec’s podium finish means restored pride for Alpine Canada, and a much better chance of securing future funding after a long period of Olympic futility. Luck may also have played a role in his result, after Mr. Hudec had buried a loonie at the finish line of the Super G race on Saturday.
Among the field of 63 skiers, Vancouver’s Morgan Pridy finished tenth, after starting in the sixth position. Canada’s top medal hope in the race, Erik Guay, was disqualified in his first run after starting in the 23rd spot.
The super G is an event that combines aspects of both the downhill and slalom skiing events.