World Cup medallists in Whistler for Canadian Championships 

Whistlerites can check out the action at Creekside

click to enlarge Speed Skiing Some of Canada's top ski racers like Erik Guay, pictured here at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games, will be competing in Whistler this weekend during the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships.
  • Speed Skiing Some of Canada's top ski racers like Erik Guay, pictured here at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games, will be competing in Whistler this weekend during the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships.

Whistlerites will get a chance to see some of the fastest ski racers from across Canada compete this weekend, including three World Cup medallists.

Alpine Canada Alpin announced this week that World Cup champions Erik Guay and John Kucera as well as World Cup medallist Manuel Osborne-Paradis will be competing in the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships in Whistler from Feb. 6-13.

The confirmation of these racers attending comes on the heels of disappointing news earlier this year that several top skiers won’t be competing in Whistler due to an unforeseen World Cup scheduling change.

The athletes will be racing down the men’s and women’s 2010 Olympic downhill courses on Whistler Mountain just days before the World Cup, which is coming to town Feb. 19-24.

“This event provides a crucial building block toward our goal of becoming the best ski racing nation in the world,” said Ken Read, the chief executive officer of Alpine Canada Alpin.

There will also be talent to see during the women’s events. This season’s current Nor-Arm Ladies overall points leader Larisa Yurkiw, and a total of 21 other members of Canada’s alpine ski teams are also scheduled to be racing.

Whistler-Blackcomb has released some viewing tips for the event — watch for the blue triangle spectator icons on the mountain. There will be safe viewing pods along the course as well as at the finishing line.

Check out www.whistlerblackcomb.com for more details.

Both the men and women will be racing down Wild Card, Jimmy’s Joker and Lower Franz’s for the Downhill and the Super Combined.

All races will end at the Timing Flats in Creekside.

The ladies and men’s official downhill training runs will take place on Feb. 6-8.

On Saturday Feb. 9 the Ladies Downhill event will take place at 10 a.m. followed by the Men’s Downhill at noon.

On Sunday the Men’s Super-G begins at 10 a.m., followed by the Men’s Super Combined.

The following day, Monday Feb. 11, the women will hit the slopes at 10 a.m. for the Ladies Super-G, followed by the Ladies Super Combined at noon.

On Feb. 12-13 the Canadian Junior Championships and World Junior Qualification events will take place.

The Canadian championships are being divided between B.C. and Quebec this year, with the technical events in Quebec. Those technical races will take place in Quebec City March 20-23.

General Motors of Canada has been supporting Canada’s elite amateur ski racers since the inception of the Pontiac Cup series in 1969. The Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships annually represents the culmination of the Pontiac GMC Cup.

For a complete event schedule of the Whistler races go to www.canski.org.

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