Canada's Calve wins silver at giant slalom snowboard event
Japan's Tomoka Takeuchi won the race
Caroline Calve seems to like the World Cup parallel giant slalom snowboard course at Carezza.
The 34-year-old from Lachine Que., who won her only World Cup event at the Italian ski resort exactly one year ago, added a silver medal Friday. She was the only Canadian to stand on the podium.
After qualifying fourth — the only Canadian woman to qualify — Calve beat Patricia Kummer of Switzerland, Claudia Riegler of Austria and Stefanie Mueller of Switzerland before losing in the gold medal final to Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan. It was Takeuchi's first career World Cup win.
On the men's side, Matthew Morrison of Blackstock, Ont., was the only Canadian to reach the final, finishing ninth overall after losing to Benjamin Karl of Austria in the first run of the final bracket.
Andreas Prommegger of Austria won the event with countryman Lukas Mathies second and Vic Wild of Russia third.
Nine other Canadian men and women failed to advance out of qualifying, including 2010 Olympic gold medallist and seven-time World Cup Crystal Globe champion Jasey-Jay Anderson of Lac-Superieur, Que.
"It's bittersweet today," said Calve, a seven-year national team veteran. "Obviously I'm super stoked to be on the podium again. That's a perfect start to the season. But I know that I could have won it if I didn't fall. But you know it's who stands up lasts the longest."
In the first run of the final Calve made what coach Mark Ballard called a "little mistake," but it caused her to fall and cost her a 1.5 second penalty for the second run. She was unable to make up that time.
"It was a technical mistake," Calve said. "I inclined too much on a turn. It was the end of the day and the snow was pretty chewed up."
Calve, whose victory last year was the first ever for a Canadian woman on the World Cup snowboard alpine circuit, had perhaps her best run in the fourth round against Mueller. She made one of her few mistakes and fell, but somehow managed to recover and still overtake and beat Mueller.
"I crashed on the pitch, but it was at the right spot so I was able to get right back up," she said. "I was able to use the bottom of the pitch [to regain speed] and I still had enough of the hill to catch her. I know I'm good on the flats so thought I just had to make it through the pitch and then give it in the transitions and flats."
After her victory last year, Calve could manage only one more top eight result, in the final event of the season.
She said that is not likely to happen again.
"I'm not the same person I was before," she said. "I worked hard all summer... with sports therapists and trainers. There were some moments of doubt today but I didn't let it bother me. Mentally I was in a perfect state. I know what I'm capable of and just reminded myself that I didn't need to do more than I am capable of."