Road To The Olympic Games


Canada's Osborne-Paradis wins Lake Louise super-G

Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis captured his first career World Cup super-G title on Sunday at Lake Louise, Alta.

3 Canadians finish in top 5

Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis captured his first career World Cup super-G title on Sunday at Lake Louise, Alta.

The 25-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C., put down a time of one minute 32.93 seconds as the seventh man down the course in the discipline's season opener, then watched it hold up through the rest of the 71-skier field.

"Wow. Did anybody else expect this? Because I didn't," Osborne-Paradis said after the race. "I just pushed it. I made lots of mistakes but I made sure the skis were always running cleanly and down the fall line and it worked out. It worked out really well."

The stiffest challenger was Benjamin Raich of Austria, who finished 0.24 seconds back to claim second place. Countryman Michael Walchhofer was third.

It's the second career World Cup victory for Osborne-Paradis, who won a downhill in Norway last March, and the first trip to the medal stand by a Canadian ski racer this season.

Two other Canucks just missed the podium. Montreal's Erik Guay finished fourth, just 0.13 of a second behind Walchhofer. Robbie Dixon of North Vancouver, B.C., was fifth, 0.04 seconds slower than Guay.

It was the second top-10 of the weekend for Dixon, who finished eighth in Saturday's downhill season opener won by Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

"I'm just so stoked right now," Dixon said.

Francois Bourque of New Richmond, Que., was 27th, Calgary's Jan Hudec was 29th and Louis-Pierre Helie of Berthierville, Que., was 34th.

The Canadian team suffered a blow when John Kucera, the reigning downhill world champion who won the super-G at Lake Louise in 2006, crashed in an icy section during his run.

Alpine Canada confirmed late Sunday that Kucera had surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg and that he would have a lengthy rehabilitation period, meaning he will miss the Vancouver Olympics.

It was the second crash in as many days at Lake Louise. American T.J. Lanning went down in the downhill, suffering a fractured vertebra in his neck and a dislocated left knee. A U.S. team spokesman said Lanning has full movement, but his season is over, along with any hope of making the Olympics.

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