Osborne-Paradis released from hospital 

Sports briefs: Watts takes 15th in Calgary; Canadian women take top-10 results

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY GEPA/ALPINE CANADA - BACK AT HOME Manny Osborne-Paradis was released from hospital after suffering a crash in training for the Lake Louise World Cup event.
  • Photo by GEPA/Alpine Canada
  • BACK AT HOME Manny Osborne-Paradis was released from hospital after suffering a crash in training for the Lake Louise World Cup event.
 

Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus Manny Osborne-Paradis was released from hospital last Thursday (Dec. 6), more than two weeks after a horrific crash while training for the Lake Louise FIS World Cup race.

Osborne-Paradis suffered a complex tibial plateau fracture in the crash and is expected miss the entire campaign.

"I entered into the 2018-19 World Cup season healthy, fit and ready to compete," Osborne-Paradis said in a release. "Unfortunately, this setback at the start of the season was not how I wanted to begin the year. My doctors are optimistic that based on my top physical conditioning and the success of the surgeries, I will be on-track for a timely recovery and into a back-to-snow plan as per schedule."

Well-wishers are encouraged to follow his recovery on Instagram following his handle @manny_ski.

Watts earns career-best finish

Whistler luger Reid Watts jumped a few spots in his third Viessmann Luge World Cup race of the year in Calgary on Dec. 7.

After taking a 22nd-place finish here in Whistler a week prior, the 19-year-old made some progress at another familiar track to post a career-best 15th-place showing to lead the Canadian team in the men's singles race.

"Overall I had two solid runs. A few mistakes here and there, but I'm really happy with today and was much better than last week in Whistler," Watts said in a release. "Consistency is the key out here with these top guys. They just bring it every time they get to the top of the track—run after run—they are always consistent. That is what I need to continue to work on."

Two other Canadians made the finals, with Colton Clarke and Whistler's Matt Riddle finishing back to back in 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Austria's Wolfgang Kindl won for the second consecutive week ahead of Russia's Roman Repilov and fellow Austrian David Gleirscher.

Watts also took part in the team relay. A week after earning his first-ever World Cup medal in the event here at home, the Canadians finished sixth. Watts, Kim McRae and the doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith were 0.559 seconds behind the winning squad from Germany. The Americans and Austrians placed second and third, respectively.

McRae took home the only Canadian hardware of the weekend in the women's singles race, finishing third behind two Germans: winner Julia Taubitz and runner-up Natalie Geisenberger. McRae's two-run time was 0.477 seconds off the winning pace.

The two other Canadians finished in the top half of the table, with Carolyn Maxwell finishing 10th and Brooke Apshkrum taking 13th.

In the men's doubles race, the Canadian duo of Walker and Snith slid to a ninth-place finish. Germany again took the top two spots, with Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt earning the win and Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken in second ahead of Austrians Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller.

The weekend also saw retiring Canadian athletes Alex Gough and Sam Edney take their final runs down the track.

Canadian women take top-10 results

In Audi FIS World Cup action in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Canada's women's ski team came away with a pair of top-10 finishes.

On Dec. 8, Marie-Michele Gagnon scored a sixth-place finish in the super-G, ending up 1.52 seconds back of champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States. Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami and Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively. The only other Canadian in the race was Roni Remme in 28th.

The next day, Erin Mielzynski scored a seventh-place finish in the parallel slalom. Shiffrin again won, with Slovakia's Petra Vlhova in second and Switzerland's Wendy Holdener in third. Remme took 15th while Laurence St-Germain placed 22nd.

On the men's side, Erik Read led the Canadians with a 12th-place showing in the Dec. 8 giant slalom in Val d'Isere, France, coming in 2.49 seconds behind champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria. Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen was second and Sweden's Matts Olsson placed third. Read was in 27th after his first run before making the significant jump. The slalom planned for Dec. 9 was cancelled.

Kingsbury wins 50th World Cup

Canadian moguls legend Mikaël Kingsbury got the 2018-19 FIS World Cup season off to a typical golden start on Dec. 7.

The Quebec skier extended his own record for World Cup victories in Ruka, Finland, scoring an 88.14 to knock off France's Benjamin Cavet and Sweden's Walter Wallberg to hit the milestone of 50.

Former Whistlerite Daichi Hara, representing Japan, placed 10th, while Pemberton's Brenden Kelly wound up in 29th.

On the women's side, Justine Dufour-Lapointe posted the strongest Canadian result, finishing sixth as France's Perrine Lafont earned the triumph over Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva and Tess Johnson of the United States. Whistler's Sofiane Gagnon took an 18th-place result.

On Dec. 11, Kingsbury was revealed as the winner of the Lou Marsh Award as the top Canadian athlete of 2018.

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