Grandi wins silver in Austria 

Forsyth in sixth, Janyk in top-30

January 25 was a day of milestones, for Thomas Grandi of Canmore, Alberta and for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

After two solid runs, the 31-year-old World Cup veteran went where no Canadian man has ever gone before – the podium for the famous slalom course at Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Grandi led after the first run by a narrow 0.19 seconds over Kalle Palander of Finland. He then made the fourth-fastest second run of the day, losing the lead but placing second overall by just 0.08 seconds. The gold medal went to Palander, and the bronze to Austria’s Rainer Schoenfelder.

Grandi’s silver was Canada’s third medal of the season, after Genevieve Simard’s super G gold and Erik Guay’s downhill silver.

So many milestones:

It was Grandi’s first trip to the podium in seven years, and the first time Grandi has ever led after the first run. Second is the best Canadian slalom result ever logged at Kitzbuehel, and it was the first ever World Cup slalom medal won by a Canadian man. In fact, it was the best result ever for a Canadian man in a technical World Cup event.

It was a big day for Grandi and the national ski team, and it started in the worst possible way – with a slip on the pavement and a bump on his head.

"I was walking to the gondola and I slipped on some snow," said Grandi. "I fell on my back with my feet in the air and hit my head on the cement. If I hadn’t been wearing my helmet I would have had a concussion for sure."

Although the fall couldn’t keep him off the slopes, it may actually have worked to his advantage – it made him angry, and when Grandi gets angry he takes it out on the race course. He’s the Incredible Hulk of the World Cup circuit.

Grandi had finished in the top-10 three times before Kitzbuehel, in slalom and giant slalom, and each time he was angry at something – usually himself for any mistakes he made in the first run.

Whatever his methods are, things are working out for Grandi. He currently sits in seventh place in the slalom rankings, 14 th in giant slalom, and 19 th overall on the World Cup circuit. Aside from two races where he chalked up DNF’s, Grandi has not finished outside of the top-30 this season, qualifying for a second run every race.

Still, the podium eluded Grandi until Sunday.

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