Canada edged off podium in team event at World Cup Finals
Alpine Canada – Canada was edged off the podium in the team event at the World Cup Finals in Soldeu on Friday, falling to Germany in the small final under a blue-bird sky.
Competing as part of the Canadian quartert in the team event were Erin Mielzynski (Collingwood, Ont./Georgian Peaks Ski Club), Laurence St-Germain (St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que./Club de ski Mont Sainte-Anne), Benjamin Thomsen (Invermere, B.C./Windermere Ski Club), and Trevor Philp (Calgary/Banff Alpine Racers).
“The team event was a blast. I haven’t done a dual slalom in about six years, so I was very nervous,” said Thomsen, who qualified for the World Cup Finals in downhill. He wraps up the 2018-19 season ranked 15th overall in that discipline. “The team came together and did very well. It was a bit upsetting walking away with the wooden spoon today, but it shows you can’t count the Canadians out – even when they are using a downhiller in slalom.”
Canada won the eights against Andorra three heats to one, and swept the Austrians in the quarter-final before losing to Norway (3-1) in the semifinal in the knock-out, head-to-head slalom racing format that saw all four team members race in every heat.
“Up until a few days ago we didn’t think that we would be able to race (in the team event) until Trevor (Philp) qualified for Finals and Ben graciously stepped up and offered to be our fourth,” said Mielzynski, who was part of the team that raced to silver in the team event at the 2015 World Championships in Vail, Colorado. “In the (quarter-final) heat, we beat Austria in all four races – including Ben Thomsen, our MVP. (He) stepped up to round out our tech team and that really shows what Team Canada is made of. In each round we fought and we fought hard. We made mistakes, but we never backed down.”
Canada is no stranger to success in the team event, recording podium performances at World Championships, World Junior Championships, and Youth Olympic Games team events in the past. Friday’s fourth-place finish sets a new bar for Canada at World Cup Finals.
Racing to the top podium step on Friday was Switzerland, with Norway earning silver, and Germany capturing bronze.
World Cup Finals continue on Saturday with the ladies’ slalom and men’s giant slalom events. CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports will offer live streaming of both races.
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