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Erik Guay wishes he had just 'stayed at home' to deal with back injury

Erik Guay says he regrets competing at the alpine World Cup event in Val Gardena, Italy, this weekend, admitting afterwards that he "should have stayed at home" to deal with a lingering back injury.

Canadian skier has 'tough day' at alpine World Cup event in Italy

Canada's Erik Guay, seen in the finish area on Saturday at the alpine World Cup event in Val Gardena, Italy, hurt his back during the downhill event and placed 32nd. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)

Erik Guay says he regrets competing at the alpine World Cup event in Val Gardena, Italy, this weekend, admitting afterwards that he "should have stayed at home" to deal with a lingering back injury.

The Montreal native turned in a 12th-place finish in the super-G race on Friday, but on Saturday he hurt his back again during the downhill run and placed 32nd. 

"I hurt my back halfway down and after that I couldn't really attack the way I wanted to," said Guay. "Every bump hurt me and I think it started yesterday honestly in the super-G."

Guay, 36, wishes he had taken more time to recover before returning to the hill.

"I tweaked my back [on Friday] and today I tried to fight through it, but I hurt my back way worse today, so I kind of regret coming to be honest. I should have trusted my gut," said Guay, who had to pull out of the World Cup event at Lake Louise in November. 

Guay spoke about his decision to ski this weekend at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Val Gardena, Italy. 1:54

"I should have stayed at home. I should have recovered properly. If you can't train and ski at 100 per cent, there's no way you can race in [the] World Cup. I know that when I'm healthy I can win. I can be with the best in the world and that's what I should have done." 

Guay says he is in so much pain that it doesn't make sense to travel back to Canada yet, so he will remain overseas until things settle down. 

"I can't cough or move without it hurting, so I think the best thing to do right now is let things calm down and make a smart decision in a few days and go home, rest, recover and see the specialist," he said.


Guay indicated that he wants to make better decisions with the goal of regaining his form in the near future. 

"I think the best case is I'll stay here in Innsbruck for a few days, let things calm down, probably do another MRI just to make sure it didn't get worse and then go back to Montreal, make some smart decisions for the next couple months and try to get back into a place that I can attack and ski properly."

Svindal puts on a show

Aksel Lund Svindal dominated the 50th anniversary edition of the Saslong Classic downhill in Val Gardena, leading a one-two finish by a significant margin ahead of Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud.

For his record sixth win in Val Gardena — four super-Gs and two downhills — Svindal clocked one minute, 57 seconds for a 0.59-second advantage over Jansrud.


Max Franz, last year's winner from Austria, finished third, 0.85 back.

Manuel Osbourne-Paradis was the top Canadian finisher in 15th.

It was Svindal's second straight downhill win after a victory in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and the 34th victory overall in his World Cup career. Svindal broke a tie with Bode Miller for eighth place on the list of all-time World Cup winners. Up next is Benjamin Raich in seventh with 36 wins.

The victory put Svindal atop the World Cup overall and downhill standings.

With files from The Associated Press

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