First the Great News
After last week’s surprising Canadian slalom win by Erin Mielzynski where Quebec’s Lac-Etchemin (home of Mont-Orignal) skier Marie-Michèle Gagnon’s career best 5th place last Sunday.
Erin’s historical win was:
– First Canadian in 41 years to win a slalom on the World Cup, first since Betsy Clifford (1971)
– First Canadian Ladies Slalom podium since Judy Crawford in 1973.
– First Canadian Slalom podium since Michael Janyk in 2007.
– Canada’s only 6th slalom victory and only 3rd Canadian after Nancy Greene (3) and Betsy Clifford (2).
– Canada’s 14th Ladies slalom podium in World Cup history and only 4th to do so (Crawford (1), Clifford (6), Greene (6).
– Canada’s 20th slalom podium and 6th athlete (Men and Women) (Janyk (1), Grandi (5)).
That was last Sunday, now for this weekend:
Marie-Michèle Gagnon improved her career best with her first career podium, a third place in Are, Sweden. Last week’s winner, Erin Mielzynski didn’t finished the first run. So after Erin last Sunday, Marie-Michèle becomes the 4th Canadian Women to reach a slalom podium, 6th Canadian to score one of the 21 Slalom podiums in the country.
To present a different aspect on this weekend’s statistics based on today’s performance: Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski podiums finishes was a Canadian first in Slalom. As I mentioned last Sunday, this has happened a number of times in the speed events (Downhill and Super G), it was the first time in the 45 year Canadian World Cup history that two different athlete score a podium in slalom in the same season.
The only time Canada got two slalom podium in the same season:
1966-1967 : Nancy Greene: 3 (2 golds and 1 bronze)
1967-1968 : Nancy Greene: 3 (1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze)
1969-1970 : Betsy Clifford: 3 (2 silvers and 1 bronze)
1970-1971 : Betsy Clifford: 3 (2 golds and 1 bronze)
2005-2006 : Thomas Grandi: 4 (1 silver and 3 bronzes)
2011-2012 : Erin Mielzynski & Marie-Michèle Gagnon: 2 (1 gold and 1 bronze)
A great strong finish to the season and one more slalom to close out the season next week in Schmalding, Switzerland. I’m sure the girls and the entire is going to be pumped for the last race of the season and excited for next season. 🙂
Now for the Tragic News
Canadian skier and Toronto skier Nik Zoricic crashed in a World Cup skicross race in Grindelwald, Switzerland. He lost control on the final bump crashed in the safety netting. He was airlifted to the Hospital. It was announced that he died from severe head injuries. The race was canceled.
From the Alpine Canada page:
Zoricic enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2010-11, recording six top-10 World Cup results and claiming his first podium, a silver medal, in St. Johann, Austria. Born in Sarajevo, Zoricic moved to Toronto, Ont., with his family at the age of five. He is the son of renowned alpine ski coach Bebe Zoricic.
He had another World Cup skicross podium (a bronze) in Les Contamines, France. He was born in Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina), he was 29.
Nicknames: Zoro, Z
Best moment in skiing: My first World Cup podium (St. Johann, Austria, in January 2011).
Worst moment in skiing: Injuries. Those are always the lowest points.
What one thing would you change about skiing? Somehow make it a little warmer. I know it’s not possible, but sometimes when its -40 or even colder, and you are doing laps, it’s not very enjoyable.
Best World Cup stop: My favourites are St. Johann, Austria, and X Games in Aspen (Colorado). I love our hotel in Austria and I was on the podium there, and Aspen during X Games is a great week.
Person you look up to most in skiing: My skiing hero was always (Swedish skier) Ingemar Stenmark. That was for many reasons, the most important being how good he was. Being able to watch Italy’s Alberto Tomba and then Austria’s Hermann Maier dominate their eras also motivated me a lot as a young skier.
On your iPod: The Black Crowes, Radiohead and Bob Marley
Favourite movie: Can’t pick just one.
Goals for 2011-12 season: I would like to win a World Cup race and move up a bit in the standings. I’m not a person who makes a long list of specific goals for every race. I want to ski the best I can and I want to win.
Favourite activities other than skiing: Tennis and golf.
Superstitions: I am quite superstitious. I don’t know if that’s a good quality for an athlete to have, so I try to stay away from it as much as possible. A lot of the time it’s just a routine thing. If things are going well you stick to it; if not, change it up. Also, if I ski well I will wear the same socks, or gloves or pole – and vice versa.
If a movie was made about your life, who should play the lead role? That’s a good question. I’m pretty sure nobody is making a movie about my life right now, so I have some time to think about it.
What’s a talent you wish you had? Where do I start . . .
Funniest thing you’ve seen in ski racing: There’s this clip on YouTube of the B.C. Ski Cross girls crashing into one another. That’s right up there!
REST IN PEACE Z
My deepest condolences to Z’s family and friends.