Simard earns first podium at Berchtesgaden 

Forsyth seventh

Canadian Alpine Ski Team member Genvieve Simard had a career day on Jan. 19, capturing the first World Cup medal of her career in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and stepping up to Canada’s second World Cup podium of the season.

After two runs on the giant slalom course, the 21 year old from Val Morin, Quebec, found herself in third place with a combined time of 2:25.43 – 0.1 seconds back of Norway’s Stina Nilsen, and 1.11 seconds back of Austrian powerhouse Michaela Dorfmeister.

"I was so overwhelmed when I climbed the podium," said Simard. "I just had a constant smile on my face as I looked around and thought back of everything that got me here. I’ve learned that you have to just keep fighting all the time."

Although she showed her potential years ago competing at the FIS and national level, this first season as a full-time member of the World Cup team has beaten every expectation. Prior to landing on the podium she had posted five top 20 results, including two top-10 finishes, and earned herself a spot in the Olympics.

"Coming into today’s race, I was confident. I can definitely ski fast on flat hills so I knew that if I skied well I’d be in there. However, I knew that if I started to think about the outcome, I’d forget to ski my race. So instead I narrowed my focus on where my skis are, and where’s my body," said Simard.

Nanaimo’s Alison Forsyth, 23, and Simard started the day on the right foot, finishing ninth and 10 th respectively in the first run. After her second run Simard was in position to win the silver medal until Dorfmeister, the last skier of the day, made her run.

Forsyth, who does better on more challenging hills, finished the day in seventh place, less than half a second behind Simard.

"This was a really flat, easy hill," said Forsyth, who is now fourth is the overall giant slalom standings. "It wasn’t my most ideal hill but nonetheless to have two Canadians in the top seven proves that we are a world force.

"I’m so happy for Gen. She works so hard for everything and she’s having such a great rookie season."

Whistler’s Britt Janyk came close on her first run, but missed the top 30 and the opportunity to race again by a gap of 0.12 seconds.

The Canadian Team was quiet for the rest of the weekend. Forsyth was 25 th in the slalom event on Jan. 20.

On Saturday at Kitzbühel, Calgary’s Darin McBeath cracked the top 30 in the Hahnenkam downhill, and nearly cracked his body when he went a little sideways off the final bump on the Streif course. McBeath finished 28 th , while Edi Podivinsky, the only other Canadian in the race, was 32 nd . Austrian Stephan Eberharter won the downhill and Friday’s super G at Kitzbühel.

Three Canadians started the Jan. 20 slalom at Kitzbühel, but none of Jean-Philippe Roy, Thomas Grandi or Whistler’s Michael Janyk qualified for the second run. It was Michael Jaynk’s first World Cup race.

The women will be Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy this weekend for a super G and downhill, and the men will be in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


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