Way to Win a World Cup Downhill, Manny - 4 Canadians in Top 10 in Kvitfjell - BC Alpine Ski Association

ALPINE CANADA ALPIN
For Immediate Release

MANUEL OSBORNE-PARADIS NOTCHES FIRST WORLD CUP WIN
Osborne-Paradis wins downhill, leads four Canadians into top 10 in Kvitfjell, NOR

KVITFJELL, NOR (March 6, 2009) – Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver, BC) won the first World Cup event of his career today, leading four Canadians into the top 10 of the opening downhill in Kvitfjell, NOR.

The race is available on Rogers Sportsnet, with coverage beginning at 4 p.m. in the Ontario and Eastern viewing area / 5:30 p.m. West / 7:30 p.m. Pacific (Check you local listings for changes.)

Osborne-Paradis, the 13th racer to leave the start, finished the extremely fast Olympiabakken course in a winning time of one minute 47.09 seconds. No Canadian male in history had won a DH or super-G in Kvitfjell prior to today although two had been on the podium (Edi Podivinsky in downhill in 1997 and Erik Guay, also in DH, in 2007).

This is Osborne-Paradis’ second podium of the season following his third place finish in Val Gardena, ITA in December.

“It feels great,” said the 25-year-old Osborne-Paradis about his first World Cup victory. “I was so close in Lake Louise (in 2006) even though that was my first podium and I was not really even expecting it.”

He becomes the third Canadian skier this season to earn the use of a Pontiac GMC vehicle for one year. The unique promotion with Pontiac GMC, the exclusive vehicle supplier to Canada’s Alpine Ski Teams, provides a vehicle to any skier who wins a World Cup race, finishes on the podium at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships or finishes the World Cup season in the top 10 in any discipline. World downhill champion John Kucera (Calgary, AB) and world championships slalom bronze medalist Michael Janyk (Whistler, BC) already qualified through their performances in Val d’Isère, FRA last month.
“This year I knew I could win. I have been skiing well and I knew I could win. And that is the first step,” Osborne-Paradis said. “(The win) is more of a relief. I have been skiing great. I’m skiing better than I ever have before from the start of the season until now, I have just had bad luck.”

“It seems that every time I have been on the podium one of these guys just sneaks in front of me. It feels good to sneak in front of them,” he said. “I have tried really hard and trained long hours, I figured it out and put it all together today.”

Michael Walchhofer of Austria finished second in 1:47.40 while Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal grabbed the final podium spot 0.06s behind the Austrian.

It was a very successful day for the Canadian team in general, with Robbie Dixon (Whistler, BC) finishing just 0.14s from the first podium of his career, finishing fifth. His career best result, a fourth place finish in Kvitfjell, occurred almost just one year ago to today. Kucera was seventh in today’s extremely close race in 1:47.83 with Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, QC) 10th in 1:47.92.

Natonal development team members Louis-Pierre Hélie (Berthierville, QC) and Tyler Nella (Toronto, ON) were 48th and 52nd respectively.

With today’s result Osborne-Paradis moves into sole possession of eight spot among Canadian men with five career podium results. It’s the fourth podium of the season for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, which also captured two medals at the World Championships last month.

Osborne-Paradis and his teammates will refocus quickly as a second downhill race has been added to the schedule in Norway to make up for a race cancelled earlier this season in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER.

Today’s result vaulted “Manny” up the men’s World Cup downhill standings, sitting now fifth with 239 points. Walchhofer is the leader with 390 points with one more DH before World Cup Finals.

Austria’s Benjamin Raich and Ivicia Kostelic of Croatia are in a tie for the overall points lead with 837 points.

COMPLETE RESULTS

KVITFJELL, NOR – MAR. 6, 2009 – DOWNHILL – MEN’S
1 13 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN 1:47.09
2 16 WALCHHOFER Michael 1975 AUT 1:47.40
3 17 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR 1:47.46
4 9 JERMAN Andrej 1978 SLO 1:47.57
5 3 DIXON Robbie 1985 CAN 1:47.60
6 12 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA 1:47.70
7 4 KUCERA John 1984 CAN 1:47.83
8 14 FILL Peter 1982 ITA 1:47.89
9 29 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA 1:47.90
10 10 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN 1:47.92
***
48 54 HELIE Louis-Pierre 1986 CAN 1:50.14
52 57 NELLA Tyler 1988 CAN 1:50.54