Osborne-Paradis Soars To First World Cup Downhill Win
|Manuel Osborne-Paradis in his gold medal form.|
Osborne-Paradis won the race by a convincing 31/100ths of a second, finishing on top of the podium on the course where Edi Podivinsky won a bronze medal for Canada in the men’s downhill at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. It’s also a course that Alpine Canada’s chief of athletics said at the start of the season mirrors somehwhat the layout of the Olympic downhill in Whistler.
The 25-year-old from North Vancouver winning time was one minute, 47.09 seconds, which put him in front of World Cup aces Michael Walchofer of Austria (1:47.40) and local favourite Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway (1:47.46).
Canadian Robbie Dixon, who shares a home with Osborne-Paradis in Calgary and also marches to the beat of his own drummer, was in an impressive fifth, his best ever World Cup downhill result (His previous best was a 13th).
Osborne-Paradis was third earlier this season in a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, but for the most part has not enjoyed a stellar campaign after entering the season ranked fifth in the world in downhill. He started skiing in Whistler with his treasured grandfather Jim Osborne, who passed away last summer.
He has four career World Cup downhill podiums entering this race, his best a second at Lake Louise in 2006.
The Canadian men’s team is on a roll of late with John Kucera winning the men’s downhill title at the world championships last month in Val d’Isere, France.