Historical past repeats itself on Canada’s males’s downhill ski workforce – Canada Information

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – Canadians climbing the boys’s racing ladder as a bunch and difficult European dominance is a well-recognized script.

Canada is coming off a season wherein three males reached the World Cup podium for the primary time of their careers, and James Crawford gained an Olympic medal.

The workforce tradition is much like the latest “Canadian Cowboys” period, in addition to the “Loopy Canucks” of the final century, as robust inside competitors drives their efficiency, and constructive outcomes drive sail different individuals’s boats.

“You are legitimately completely happy on your teammate and it fires you up and makes you need to do the identical,” Brodie Seger describes the workforce dynamic.

Ranging in age from 25 to twenty-eight, Crawford of Toronto, Cameron Alexander of North Vancouver, BC, Seger and Broderick Thompson of Whistler, BC, and Jeff Learn of Calgary use one another as benchmarks to chasing private bests will transfer them up the rankings and into. the cash.

“I positively assume it comes from only a group of fellows who’re all good associates off the mountain, however are additionally very aggressive,” Crawford defined. “It isn’t fairly often of us the place we let that get between us, however I believe now it is in a really wholesome place the place all of us feed one another.”

The 2022-23 males’s downhill season begins Friday in Lake Louise, Alta., adopted by super-G races Saturday and Sunday in Canada’s lone cease on the World Cup alpine racing circuit.

Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, the general World Cup champion, posted the quickest time within the last coaching session on Thursday. Crawford was third.

Two-time world champion Erik Guay led the Canadian Cowboys period from 2002 to 2020 when world downhill champion John Kucera, Manuel Osborne-Pardis, Jan Hudec and Dustin Prepare dinner all stood on podiums at totally different instances.

Steve Podborski, the primary North American to win the boys’s world downhill title in 1982, and Jeff Learn’s father Ken, the primary Canadian to win the downhill in 1975, contributed to the success of the Loopy Canucks.

Kucera coaches the present crop of Canadian downhill climbers and sees parallels together with his technology.

“The place the true parallel is it is a group, proper?” Kucera stated. “It isn’t only one particular person. It isn’t only one man coming in or two guys. When you begin seeing 5 – 6 of them hitting persistently, that is when it is going to be actually good.

“We had been 5 – 6 individuals who got here from totally different elements of the nation. We had been totally different in age. All of us introduced one thing to the desk that was supportive of another person. These individuals now, they’re totally different on that stage as a result of they’ve principally been there. All of them grew up collectively. They’re very tight, virtually like a band of brothers, in a approach.”

Seger and Crawford’s fourth-place end in super-G and mixed alpine respectively on the 2021 world championships in Cortina, Italy, was an indication of rising expertise.

Crawford adopted up his Olympic bronze in alpine mixed in February with World Cup super-G silver subsequent month in Kvitfjell, Norway. He additionally positioned fourth within the downhill and sixth within the super-G in Beijing.

“Personally I discovered a very good consistency with what I used to be doing,” Crawford stated. “The remainder of the workforce was a bit extra constant and that does not take away from the truth that all of them skied to the identical stage or a stage larger than me by way of their very own capacity.

“Coming into the season, everybody appears to have their heads in the appropriate place. Now we have executed a very good job and I would not be stunned if all the opposite guys had been proper there with me complaining day after day and never solely. with uncommon outcomes.”

Alexander, who doesn’t race in Lake Louise, gained the downhill in Kvitfjell after lacking practically two seasons with a knee damage. He lately wrote in an Instagram publish that he re-injured his knee whereas coaching on dry land on the finish of final season.

Thompson was third in super-G in Beaver Creek, Colo., a yr in the past for his first World Cup medal.

“That podium final yr gave me confidence and I believe it gave my teammates confidence as properly,” Thompson stated. “If all of us go as onerous as we are able to, one in every of us has an opportunity to be on the rostrum.”

Learn achieved his first downhill top-10 within the downhill in Kvitfjell. Seger was fourth after the downhill leg of the Olympic mixed.

“I believe our entire workforce is beginning to present their greatest aggressive tempo, and I’ve little doubt that there might be extra podiums amongst this crew shifting ahead, ” stated Learn.

“We’re in a spot now the place we’ve sufficient time on each observe and we’re not new individuals. Now we have the expertise, we all know the place to push for be fast.”

The Loopy Canucks moniker got here from a European journalist, whereas the Canadian Cowboys label was a advertising and marketing marketing campaign by Alpine Canada.

The Norwegians on the tour are referred to as the “Attacking Vikings”.

This version of the Canadian males’s downhill workforce has but to choose its unofficial title.

“It has to return organically,” Learn stated. “It isn’t one thing you can also make up and power on others. I am positive it’ll come once we all push for the highest.”

This report by The Canadian Press was initially printed on November 24, 2022.

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