PREVIEW: FIS ALPINE WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS – ST. MORITZ (SUI)
Alpine Canada – Calgary, Alta. (January 31, 2017) – Next week, the best alpine skiers in the world will arrive in St. Moritz (SUI) for the biggest show of the season, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. With 11 races to be contested, there will be no shortage high speed, big air, quick turns and excitement to take in.
The 44th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will be held from February 6-19, 2017 and will include men’s and women’s downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, super combined and team event.
Erik Guay heads in the World Championships with one podium to his name this year from the super G at Val Gardena. At last year’s World Cup Finals held at St. Moritz, Guay landed on the podium with a third-place finish in the downhill, setting the bar high coming into this year’s World Championships.
For Vancouver’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis, landing a top ten finish in downhill (sixth in Garmisch) and top 20 finish in super-G (14th in Kitzbühel) has set him up with the right ranking to be competitive in the World Championships.
“I feel like the main goal of the season was for super-G to be in the top 30, which I believe I have achieved and for the downhill to be back in the top 20 where I can have a start number so I can better compete with the best guys,” said Osborne-Paradis. “I definitely need this at the World Championships to be competitive. I feel good on my skis and I feel like my season is coming together. I’m very pumped to compete at World Championships and be in a place that matches my comfort level where I have a chance to not only be a participant, but compete for a medal.”
At the 2015 World Championships, Dustin Cook’s name was the one to remember after he captured silver for Canada in the super-G. With a season-best sixth-place in super-G and strong skiing in the past races, Cook will be looking to repeat or better his 2015 performance.
Erik Read, the 2016 Overall Nor-Am Cup winner, has proven he’s a force on the technical World Cup circuit and the king of the second run putting down personal-best results all season. Read heads into the World Championships with a personal-best eighth-place finish in giant slalom and a seventh-place finish in slalom.
On the women’s side, Marie-Michèle Gagnon is heading into the World Championships with three top ten finishes this season, including two in giant slalom and one in slalom. Last year, Gagnon won the alpine combined in Soldeu (AND) proving she’s an all around contender.
“I’m really excited for World Champs” said Gagnon. “I really like the hill and snow conditions at St. Moritz. I’ve had my best super-G and giant slalom results ever there so I’m feeling really good heading into it. After watching Travis [Ganong] win in Garmisch, it gave me a little extra energy to do it myself and find some fire heading into the Championships.”
Veteran Erin Mielzynski has also picked up a top ten slalom finish this year and will be looking for another in St. Moritz. Valérie Grenier, the young speed star from Quebec, has picked up a top 30 finish in downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom this season earning her spot on the start lists at World Championships.
“Our athletes have been showing good progression in January moving into the final days before the big event in St. Moritz,” said Martin Rufener, Alpine Canada Athletic Director. “The World Championship is a big milestone on the road to the 2018 PyeongChang Games, which is only 12 months away. Some of our targeted athletes will be looking to capture medals at the World Championships, while others will be looking for big event experience.”
Alpine Canada will be actively following and sharing scenes, stories and results from the World Championships to help keep bring our fans into the action. Be sure to follow our social handles for the latest results and updates.
44th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Team Selection:
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Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.