Broderick Thompson has kicked off the new year with a new personal best.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) alum raced to a career-best in downhill, finishing ninth at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup race on Jan. 20 in Kitzbüehel, Austria. This was Thompson's 73rd World Cup start and his first top-10 since a third-place result last season in the super-G in Beaver Creek, Colo.
Navigating the always difficult Streif downhill course under challenging conditions today, the two-time Canadian Olympian started 39th and punched his way to a top-10 thanks to an especially strong middle section and a total time of one minute, 56.83 seconds.
“I’m super excited about a ninth-place finish today. Especially starting 39th, I think it’s amazing,” said Thompson in a release. “The training runs gave me the confidence I needed, and this result gives me more confidence. Kitzbüehel is an electric environment and I’m excited to push again tomorrow.”
Austrian speed demon Vincent Kriechmayr snatched his 15th career World Cup victory in a time of 1:56.16, giving his compatriots something to cheer about in an otherwise-disappointing alpine ski season so far. Kriechmayr now has 31 World Cup medals to go with four pieces of World Championships hardware, including two golds earned in 2021.
Florian Schieder of Italy took silver (1:56.39) and Niels Hintermann of Switzerland won bronze (1:56.47).
Two other WMSC athletes scored World Cup points today. Cameron Alexander finished 19th, his career best result in Kitzbüehel, and Brodie Seger placed 25th.
Other Canadians in action included Jack Crawford in 38th, Jeffrey Read of Canmore, Alta. in 51st and Kyle Alexander of North Vancouver rounding out the group in 52nd. (Crawford and Alexander are, of course, WMSC alums as well). Perennial top contenders Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway (16th) and Marco Odermatt of Switzerland (54th) narrowly avoided high-speed disasters down the mountain.
Meanwhile, Canada’s women alpine racers were in Cortina d’Ampezzo in northern Italy for today’s World Cup downhill action. Whistler's Stefanie Fleckenstein came in 44th (1:37.97) and Marie-Michèle Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que. didn’t finish her run.
Accomplished Italian Sofia Goggia prevailed in a time of 1:33.47 for her 22nd career World Cup gold medal. Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia (1:33.60) and Germany's Kira Weddle (1:33.83) rounded out the podium.
Both the Canadian men's and women's ski teams will remain where they are. Another men's downhill race goes Jan. 21, with slalom to come Jan. 22. Women will compete in downhill on Saturday and super-G on Sunday.