A major technical glitch couldn't keep the youngest member of the Canadian Paralympic team from winning another medal.
Mac Marcoux, just 16 years old, won his second bronze in as many days on Sunday, finishing third in the men’s visually impaired super-G on Sunday.
But as he was in the starting gate, Marcoux realized his radio headset, which he uses to communicate with his guie Robin Fémy, wasn't working. That forced Marcoux, who has no central vision and only six per cent peripheral vision, to ski at more than 100 kilometres per hour with just the sound of Fémy's shouts to guide him.
"When I realized what happened with the radios it was a little bit scary, but I got it together and just did the best I could in the situation," Marcoux, who finished with a time of one minute 20.77 seconds, told the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "I'm super happy it worked out. Bronze like this? I can't believe it."
"I've never yelled so hard in my life," Fémy added. "We train for this kind of thing, but for Mac to keep his composure and ski to bronze in this situation is incredible. I'm so impressed."
Marcoux's time was just 0.06 seconds behind the silver medal spot and 0.19 off the top of the podium in what was a tight finish at the top of the standings.
"I'm very happy with a second bronze medal,” Marcoux said. “It wasn't easy, and the second last gate before the end, we arrived too fast and I was pretty close to missing it. We lost some seconds here, and as it was a tight race we lost the chance for silver or gold."
Marcoux won Canada’s first Paralympic medal on Saturday when he took bronze in the men’s visually-impaired downhill, and finished third in the super-G Sunday despite having radio communication problems with Fémy during the run.
"After our radio died Robin tried to yell as loud as he could,” Marcoux said. “We tried to manage as best we could and make it to the bottom."
He is normally guided on the course by his brother, Billy Joe, but B.J. pulled out of competition on Wednesday with an injury.
"It is so awesome to step on the podium again,” Marcoux said. “When I step on the podium I think of my brother. It is all for him."
Slovakia’s Jakub Krako, who finished in fourth in the downhill on Friday, took the gold medal ahead of American Mark Bathum. Spain’s Jon Santacana Maiztegui, who won the downhill event on Friday and was the defending world champion in the super-G, finished fourth, more than one second behind Marcoux.
Brousseau wins bronze, heartbreak for Dueck
Caleb Brousseau of Terrace, B.C., added to Canada’s medal total with a bronze of his own in the sitting classification of the men’s super-G. He finished the course in 1:22.05, over two and a half seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Heath Calhoun of the U.S. Brousseau finished sixth in the downhill on Saturday.
"My run was fun," he said. "That's what I've been going for the whole time. It was time to challenge today and just have fun."
Japan’s Akira Kano won gold in 1:19.51, which was 2.09 seconds better than teammate Taiki Morii in second.
It was another crash-filled race for the alpine sit-skiers, as more than half of the racers posted DNFs due to spills or missed gates.
But no crash was more heartbreaking than Josh Dueck’s. The Canadian, who won silver in the downhill on Saturday, was tied with Kano at the last interval of the course and was all but assured of a medal when he crashed only a few gates from the finish line. He didn't finish the race.
Edmonton’s Kurt Oatway also had a tough time on Saturday, going sideways and losing all of his speed halfway through his run which, up to that point, had him in the silver-medal position. He recovered and wound up in ninth with a time of 1:29.10.
Austria went 1-2 in the men’s standing super-G, as Markus Salcher took another gold to go along with the one he won in the downhill event on Saturday. He finished in 1:20.92, which was 0.41 seconds ahead of teammate Matthias Lanzinger.
Russia’s Alexey Bugaev gave the home fans – which included President Vladimir Putin – something to cheer about by taking bronze.
Kirk Schornstein of Spruce Grove, Alta., was 13th. Matt Hallat of Coquitlam, B.C., and Braydon Luscombe of Duncan, B.C., didn’t finish the course.
(With files from the Paralympic News Service)