Disappointing weekend for Canadian skiers 

No podiums at Lake Louise but Dixon eighth in Colorado


In recent years Canadian skiers have been strong at their home event, with several athletes winning medals at Lake Louise. This year represents the first time since 2005 that the team has failed to win a medal.

The Canadian women followed the men's team to Lake Louise last weekend, with a pair of downhill races and a super G.

Despite strong training times, the best Canadian result in the first downhill was Britt Janyk's 39th place finish. She was followed by Georgia Simmerling in 45 th place, Victoria Stevens 46 th and Kelly McBroom 51 st .

Janyk was disappointed with her run, and at a loss to explain what happened.

"It's the same as the training runs," she said. "My runs have been pretty solid (but) the speed just isn't there. I can feel it on the flats. On the course it is so important to maintain your speed in the top flats.

"I just need to go back, look at the video and move forward to tomorrow. It's obviously not the result that I am looking for."

The win went to Maria Riesch of Germany in 1:28.96, followed by Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. in 1:29.08 and Elisabeth Goergl of Austria in 1:29.17. The podium wasn't much of a surprise, given that it was Riesch's seventh medal at Lake Louise while Vonn had won the women's downhill event the previous five years going back to 2005, and has seven career wins including two prior victories.

Day two of the downhill was a repeat of day one with Maria Riesch on top again, followed closely by Lindsey Vonn. Dominique Gisin of Switzerland picked up the bronze medal.

The Canadians struggled once again, with Simmerling's 34 th place leading the team. Britt Janyk was 43 rd and Stephanie Irwin 45 th .

Although only the top-30 athletes win points, Simmerling was encouraged by the result.

"I was a lot calmer today, not over-thinking like the last couple days. My nerves did not get the best of me. I am a little bummed not to be in the top 30 today, but I just need to make less mistakes and it will happen."

The final event was a super G on Sunday. Vonn took the win, her first super G victory at Lake Louise. She was followed by Riesch and Julia Mancuso of the U.S.

Marie-Michele Gagnon was the top Canadian, in 27 th place. She was followed by Britt Janyk in 33 rd , Marie-pier Prefontaine 35 th , Georgia Simmerling 38 th and Kelly McBroom 40 th .

The women's team will get a boost when Kelly VanderBeek returns from her injury in the New Year. They will get another shot at the podium in St. Moritz this weekend.

Lake Louise Winterstart has been good to Canadian skiers in recent years, with nine medals from 2006 to 2009.

In 2009, Emily Brydon won silver and bronze medals in the downhill, while Manuel Osborne-Paradis won a gold in the super G.

In 2008, John Kucera won a silver medal in super G.

In 2007, Britt Janyk won a bronze in the downhill and Jan Hudec won the men's downhill.

In 2006, Kelly VanderBeek earned a bronze in the super G, Manuel Osborne-Paradis won a silver in the men's downhill and John Kucera earned a gold in the super G.

While the women's team was struggling in Lake Louise the men's team had a few strong results at Beaver Creek.

In the super G, Whistler's Robbie Dixon placed eighth, just 0.4 seconds back of the podium. Manuel Osborne-Paradis was 19 th and Erik Guay 21 st .

"I'm feeling good about my run," said Dixon. "I think I took advantage of starting number one there and skied the best I could. There was a couple little mistakes, but it's tough to go on this course with no real idea, so I'm pretty happy. It's a step in the right direction. Obviously I want to get on that podium but I guess I'll have to wait until another race now."

Georg Streitberger of Austria took the gold medal, followed by Adrien Theaux of France and Didier Cuche of Switzerland.

In the giant slalom the following day, Jean-Philippe Roy led the Canadian team in 17th place, the only Canadian skier to qualify for a second run.

Roy said his knee was still bothering him during the race but was happy to be in the points.

"I don't ski a lot (with the injury) but when I do I know what to do. When the speed is faster I make... more mistakes. But I think it's good to build on and I think it's a good result today," he said.

Robbie Dixon just missed competing in the second run by 0.09 seconds.

The men's team is heading to Val d'Isere this weekend.


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