The day of the Canadians
The surprises at the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships just keep coming. The first two race days combined were watched by a total of 20.000 tension ridden spectators at Salastrains. Also at the men’s Super G the favourites didn’t succeed. Instead, Erik Guay wins the second gold medal of the Alpine Ski World Championships 2017 - and this, after a serious crash last week at the downhill in Garmisch, where, by the way, he won his last World Cup Super G race in 2010 and his downhill World Championships gold medal in 2011.
"It felt good but you never know, how fast you really are", said Guay at the press conference. "When I reached the finish line I could hear the reaction from the crowd and I began to realize that something fantastic had happened".
Guay was 0,45 seconds faster than Kjetil Jansrud, who won the first medal for Norway. And then the Canadiens struck again. Manuel Osbourne-Paradis holding bib 26 stood on the podium - on his 33rd birthday! After a training day tommorrow without any races, the next medals will be awarded on Friday: Ladies Alpine Combined.
Nation of the day: Undoubtably Canada! What more can we say?
Slogan of the day: Attacking Vikings, the motto on the Norwegian‘s team uniform. Next to Canada, the Vikings were the second winners of the day. Even when Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was pushed off the podium by Osbourne-Paradis. But other Nations had to deal with more terrible setbacks - for example Italy and Austria. The title defender Hannes Reichelt only came in at number ten. The highlight from the Austrian perspective was Vincent Kriechmayer with bib one. Seven athletes struggled with his pace, until Jansrud pulled ahead. Kriechmayer was fifth in the end.
Disappointment of the day: The Swiss team couldn’t meet the high expectations. Carlo Janka was the best with eighth place. Beat Feuz missed the top ten (twelfth place). "Of course I had hoped for more", said the Emmentaler tightly. Mauro Caviezel was 20th. For Patrick Küng an early error made him lose his concentration and took him out of the drive, leaving him in 22nd place.
Nevertheless there were two Swiss men celabrating: Norwegian coach Reto Nydegger and Martin Rufener, the Alpine Director from Canada. He was the Alpine Ski World Championship race director in St. Moritz 2003 – and the Swiss head coach at the time when Janka, Defago and Cuche were World Champions and Olympic Champions.
Unlucky number of the day: 11. The bad reputation of the unpopular bib eleven right after the TV break has struck again today. However, Max Franz was luckier than Lindsey Vonn who did not finish. Wildly rowing, the Austrian flew over one of the jumps but still managed to stay on his feet.
Trip up of the day: The wall. The jump was a disaster for many racers. Anyone who took the wall badly was either totally out or lost a lot of time trying to pass the next gate properly.
Eye-cather of the day: Next to the Swiss men, there was another "local hero" on the track: Nikita Shcherbakovskiy, who lives and attends school in Zuoz. Only 17 years old was the Russion-Israelian double nationality, who was competing for Israel: He was the youngest competitor at the men's Super G. Nikita came in at 51st place from 72 competitors and was cheered on by family, class comrades and teachers with shouts and cheers of "Go Sherba".