Veteran racer brings seasoned perspective to Sochi

The third time may be the charm for Invermere's Manny Osborne-Paradis at the Sochi Olympics

The third time may be the charm for Invermere’s Manny Osborne-Paradis at the Sochi Olympics.

The alpine skier has already been to the games in Torino in 2006 and in Vancouver in 2010, and with experience comes a veteran’s viewpoint.

“My Olympic results have not been the brightest, but the older you get the more more you realize it’s about building on these races (leading into the Games),” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis, who recently raced in a Kitzbühel World Cup race (where he placed 16th in the downhill event) and will race again at St. Moritz this coming weekend, prior to the Olympics.

Mr. Osborne-Paradis had never raced at St. Mortiz before, which he said makes for a good build-up to Sochi, where he’s also never raced before (the Olympics will, in fact, be his first time in Russia).

“It’s good practice in getting to know a course that I don’t really know and trying to figure it out as soon as possible,” he said, adding skiers usually get just two practice runs, sometimes just one, before the racing begins — not much time to get a really good feel for a course.

From what Mr. Osborne-Paradis has heard, the actual Olympic course in Sochi will be much different than the test event course there, so all the racers will be in somewhat unfamiliar territory for the games.

In Torino in 2006, Mr. Osborne-Paradis was in podium position with just a few racers left to go when the race was cancelled due to weather, prompting a complete re-ski later, during which he didn’t place so well.

In Vancouver in 2010 Mr. Osborne-Paradis was one of the favourites heading into Olympics — having two wins and a second-place finish in races just before the games — and was even, at one point, tied for the lead halfway through one of the Olympic races — but couldn’t convert that momentum into a strong finish.

“A lot can change in four years; you just give it your best shot,” he said. “There’s definitely something special about the Olympics. It’s not just another race.”

The field of competitors is the same as it is on the World Cup circuit, but the World Cup is a full-season long event, built on overall points accrued for each skier in each race.

“The Olympics, on the other hand, is unique in that only the top three count, nobody remembers who came fourth at the Olympics,” he said. “You just put your foot down and go as hard as you can and hope that the stars align as you go down the course,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis.

The skier said that although nothing can top the home Olympics experience of Vancouver, he’s still excited for the games.

“The Olympics are great because we’re a full team, a nation, of all sports. You’re not just a bunch of skiers on a mountain as we are at the World Cup events,” he said.

The speed events (the downhill and super-G), which Mr. Osborne-Paradis will be doing at the games, start early on in the schedule, giving him the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremony for the first time.

Mr. Osborne-Paradis grew up in the Vancouver area, but moved to Invermere when he was a teenager to race with the Panorama-based B.C. ski team. He lived here for four years, graduating from David Thompson Secondary School. Mr. Osborne-Paradis later bought a house here (where he lives for themajority of his summer off-season) and considers the Columbia Valley to be his home.



Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by:
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read