Canada's Osborne-Paradis eyeing downhill podium after promising 6th-place finish

By The Canadian Press
January 27, 2017 - 9:00am

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Canadian skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis knows if he keeps posting results like he did Friday, podium appearances will soon follow.

The 32-year-old from Vancouver was sixth in a crash-filled men's World Cup downhill on the Kandahar track in Garmisch. It was the first top-10 result of the season for Osborne-Paradis, who finished 0.83 seconds behind winner Travis Ganong of the United States.

"In our sport right now, anything in the top 10 is a good day," Osborne-Paradis said. "The difference between first and 10th is so small, it's like a bobble here or a bobble there. It's putting myself consistently in the top 10 and podiums will happen. That's just a fact.

"I'm getting to that point where consistently maybe I can be there and if I can start pulling that off, podiums are going to happen. That's the end goal. I'm not here to play around in the top 30 in the world. I want to be in the top 15 and I want to be fighting for medals every weekend."

Ganong won gold in one minute 53.71 seconds. Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was second in 1:54.09 and Italy's Peter Fill took the bronze in 1:54.23.

American Steven Nyman and Valentin Giraud Moine of France were both airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries. Giraud Moine is likely to have broken bones in both legs, World Cup men's race director Markus Waldner said.

The race was held up for half an hour while Giraud Moine, who was second in Kitzbuehel and on course for a top-10 finish, received attention after losing control and crashing into the net near spectators.

Nyman crashed shortly before, after a jump. He may have suffered a serious knee injury.

The race had been rescheduled from Wengen, Switzerland, where heavy snow forced the classic Lauberhorn downhill to be cancelled on Jan. 14. Another downhill was scheduled for Saturday but there are likely to be changes made to the course, with many skiers grateful simply to finish on a day of seven crashes in all.

"It wasn't easy today," said Ganong, the first American to win in Garmisch.

Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., crashed hard about halfway down the hill, escaping with just minor injuries. He got up right away and waved that he was OK.

"Bumps and bruises but I'm thankful to have skied away from that crash with nothing major! Thanks for all the well wishes," the 2011 world champion said on Twitter.

Ben Thomsen of Invermere, B.C., was 40th and Jeffrey Frisch of Mont-Tremblant was 44th. 

Lindsey Vonn, who crashed during a World Cup downhill training session on Friday in Cortina D'ampezzo, Italy, tweeted: "I can't watch the race in Garmisch any more. Too many injuries and crashes. This is crazy!!!"

Broderick Thompson of Whistler, B.C., did not finish. 

"There were guys falling all over the place today," said Osborne-Paradis, whose last World Cup win came in 2009. "I knew my plan and I knew what I needed to do to execute it and I wasn't really too worried about it. It's a really good place to be with my skiing right now."

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With files from The Associated Press.

The Canadian Press

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