Canada sending Erin Mielzynski, 13 other alpine skiers to Olympics
Erik Guay plans to compete at 4th Winter Games despite disc rupture in back
Erin Mielzynski, fresh off her second top-10 finish of the season, will lead 14 Canadian alpine skiers at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, starting Feb. 11.
On the men's side, Erik Guay will enter the Games as the most prolific Canadian skier of all time with 25 World Cup podiums and three world championship medals.
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"This is my third Olympics and each one has been special in its own way, however never have I felt so proud to be representing our nation," Mielzynski said in a statement released by Alpine Canada, which announced the team that also includes a coaching staff of 11 on Monday morning in Calgary.
"I am looking forward to savouring each experience and moment, from marching in the opening ceremony to standing in the start gate."
Mielzynski, 27, enters the Olympics ranked 20th overall in slalom on the World Cup circuit after finishing eighth in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday. The Collingwood, Ont., native posted a season-best seventh-place finish in Zagreb, Croatia earlier this month and two other top-15 finishes.
In 2010, Mielzynski placed 20th in her Olympic debut at Vancouver in slalom. Four years later, she didn't finish the event at Sochi, Russia, but was 21st in giant slalom.
In between, in 2012, Mielzynski delivered Canada's first World Cup slalom victory since Betsy Clifford 41 years earlier.
Guay was Canada's best in Vancouver
Guay, 36, plans to ski for Canada in Pyeongchang following a MRI test in December that revealed a disc rupture in the Montreal native's back.
A two-time world champion and three-time Olympian, Guay produced Canada's best result with his fifth-place finish in super-G, 0.03 seconds off the podium, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis, 33, overcame a slow start to his season to qualify for his fourth Olympics, finishing 10th at a downhill competition in Bormio, Italy on Dec. 28. Osborne-Paradis, who was third at the super-G world championships last spring, needed one top-12 finish to qualify for the Games.
The Invermere, B.C., resident failed to post a top-15 finish in downhill or super-G at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014.
"The feeling of pride I have for representing Canada in front of the world never gets old," Osborne-Paradis said. "There is nothing more special than competing for Canada and being part of the Olympic experience. I will be racing in both the downhill and super-G events."
Also in Bormio, Broderick Thompson of Whistler, B.C., turned in his first top-10 World Cup finish after recording a pair of top-30 results earlier in the season to meet the Olympic qualifying standard.
"This team is stacked with talent," Team Canada chef de mission Isabelle Charest said. "These athletes are in a great position to compete against the best in the world."
Canada has won 11 Olympic medals, including four gold, since alpine skiing debuted at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936.
Pyeongchang will represent the first time since the 1988 Games in Calgary that a new alpine event has been added to the Olympic program, with the debut of the team event.
Alpine skiing will run through Feb. 24 at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre (speed events) and the Yongpyong Alpine Centre (technical events).
Canada's Olympic alpine team
- Philip Brown, Toronto
- Dustin Cook, Ottawa
- Jack Crawford, Toronto
- Erik Guay, Montreal
- Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Invermere, B.C.
- Trevor Philip, Calgary
- Erik Read, Calgary
- Broderick Thompson, Whistler, B.C.
- Benjamin Thomsen, Invermere, B.C.
- Candace Crawford, Toronto
- Valérie Grenier, Mont-Tremblant, Que.
- Erin Mielzynski, Collingwood, Ont.
- Roni Remme, Toronto
- Laurence St-Germain, Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que.