Skiing

Canada wins silver in team event at skiing championships

Canada earned its first ever silver medal in the team event at the world alpine skiing championships on Tuesday.

Marcel Hirscher leads Austria to 1st-place finish

Canada won silver in the team event at the world alpine skiing championships at Beaver Creek, Colo. on Tuesday. (Twitter)

Erin Mielzynski led three young skiers with little experience to a silver medal at the world alpine skiing championships at Beaver Creek, Colo. on Tuesday.

The underdogs narrowly lost the gold to defending world champions Austria, edged by just .10 seconds.

The showing earned Canada its first ever silver in the team event. 

Top-seeded Austria, led by Marcel Hirscher, won the final 3-1 over Canada, which was seeded No. 10. out of 16 teams. 

Sweden earned the bronze medal by beating Switzerland.

The event, only in place since 2005, is a parallel slalom competition and the only world championship alpine discipline in which skiers race as a team and not as individuals.

The four skiers chosen from a squad of six — Mielzynski, Candace Crawford, Phil Brown and Tervor Philp — were among the last remaining uninjured Canadians. They appeared determined to prove that compatriot Dustin Cook's silver medal in men's Super-G last Thursday was not going to be the only surprise of these championships.

"We fought really hard as a team and came so close to the gold. But we're really happy to be able to stand on the podium as a team," Crawford said. "We're all proud. It's a great day.

"It was a bit of retribution for us as we have showed our medal potential in the past."

Crawford also said that the best approach in a race with so little margin for error is to stick with what works and to put forth the best possible effort, knowing that a podium finish is attainable. 

Mielzynski, a slalom specialist from Brampton, Ont., is the team captain and most established athlete of the quartet. She skied first out of the gate in every round of the competition and remained unbeaten throughout.

Rising stars on the giant slalom World Cup, Brown and Philp matured as the competition unfolded, scalping skiers with world rankings half their own. The 20-year-old Crawford, the youngest and most inexperienced of the four, put down stunning runs.

The team dispatched Germany in the opening round, and then Italy in the quarter-finals.

The International Ski Federation is trying to get the discipline included as a medal event in the Olympics.

With files from CBC Sports

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