Photo from BC Alpine website:
Thomas Dorner (Austria) wins Whistler Cup slalom, Photo by Scott Brammer – 

WHISTLER, BC (April 5, 2014) — Mother Nature proved to be a major challenger again Saturday as the U16 racers swapped their speed skis for slalom and giant slalom equipment at the 2014 Whistler Cup. The women were on the GS track while the men took to the slalom course. The first run for both genders ran successfully in the morning, but an afternoon second run in increasing fog and snowfall would tell the tale.

After much work on the track by determined course workers, run-two got underway and the men’s slalom winner was decided. Austrian Thomas Dorner, silver medalist in Friday’s super-G, sat second after the first run and moved into first position to take the victory in one minute, 36.91 seconds.

“Though I made a few mistakes, the first run was nice, it was set by my trainer [coach],” said Dorner. “I tried to go faster in my second run, but it was really hard to drive the course because you couldn’t see anything through the fog, you had to just remember it. Of course I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

Austria’s Manuel Traninger, super-G winner from the previous day, gave up top spot to his teammate Saturday, and happily accepted second place with a combined time of 1:37.76. Latvian skier Zaks Gedra joined the Austrians on the podium in third with a time of 1:38.70

Team Canada’s Max Kirshenblatt of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, who earned bronze in super-G the day before, had set himself up for a great slalom finish by winning the first run, but unfortunately was not able to complete his second run.

The top Canadian male in Saturday’s slalom was not from Team Canada, but in fact from Team Ontario. Cameron Dymond of Oakville, and the Osler Bluff Ski Club, wearing bib 41 and sitting 17th after run-one, had a ripper of a second run to pull off a 6th place overall finish to end the day.

“The course was quite bumpy and you had to fight the whole way down,” explained 15-year-old Dymond. “I skied smart in sections and aggressive in other sections. My goal was to come in the top three in the second run and I came third, so I’m satisfied.”

On the women’s side visibility and conditions improved after a short delay, and an ecstatic Viktoria Habersatter of Austria, wearing lucky bib #1, collapsed in a heap of joy when she crossed the finish and realized her accomplishment. For the second day in a row she was at the top, having won both runs and grabbed the U16 giant slalom victory by over a second in 1:54.26.

“Honestly I can’t believe it, I am so happy and I have no words for this,” Habersatter told us. “In the first run I crashed hard at the last gate and really hurt my hand and back; I have a bruise and it hurts.” In spite of feeling “pain in the start, and for a couple of gates in the second run,” Habersatter’s mental fortitude took over allowing her to post the fastest second-run time and win the race.

Rounding out the women’s podium were Austria’s Katrin Hinterholzer and Norway’s Josefine Selvaag, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. 

Beatrix Lever of Montreal and the Mont Cascade Ski Club once again earned top Canadian honours with an 8th place finish in 2:00.10.

“I made a little mistake in my first run, but overall it was a good performance and I’m happy with it,” said Lever. “Between runs I tried to stay relaxed, and surrounding myself with friends always helps with that. The track was a little softer in the afternoon, but I thought it was good and I’m very proud of all my teammates today.”

Competition continues Sunday with men’s giant slalom and ladies’ slalom.

Photo from BC Alpine website:
Manuel Traninger (Austria) finishes 2nd in Whistler Cup slalom, Photo by Scott Brammer –



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