Kananaskis Valley (AB), Canada – Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Whistler, British Columbia’s Britt Janyk, two veteran members of Canada’s Alpine Ski Team who have each won World Cup downhills, opened the GMC Canadian Championships Monday at Nakiska Ski Area in Alberta with victories in the downhill.nOsborne-Paradis, a World Cup downhill winner in Kvitfjell, Norway and Val Gardena, Italy in his career to date, picked up his first national alpine ski racing championship winning Monday’s downhill in a time of 54.92 seconds.
“Yeah, I have never won a GMC Canadian Championships before in any discipline. This is my first one, so that’s good,” said the 26-year-old who finished fourth overall in the men’s World Cup DH standings.
“I think at the end of the year you need to muster up enough strength after the end of the World Cup season (to win a GMC Canadian Championship) and today just shows that I am maturing a little bit that I am able to do that,” he added.
Toronto Ski Club’s Kelby Halbert (Bradford, Ontario) turned some heads by finishing ahead of some national team skiers, by placing second in 55.64 seconds.
“I had no idea. Manny and Erik (Guay) both won World Cups this year. I just went for it, used my size and I am really happy with the result,” said the six-foot-eight Halbert, who was also obviously the day’s top male junior.
“Silver is good enough for me today,” the 19-year-old added with a laugh.
Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) was third in 55.76 seconds.
On the women’s side, Janyk won remarkably the 12th GMC Canadian Championships title of her career, finishing the downhill in 57.87, just 0.23 seconds ahead of Emily Brydon (Fernie, British Columbia).
“It’s great. It’s definitely a little bit lower stress compared to the World Cup season,” said Janyk, of the GMC Canadian Championships. “And its always nice to finish the season off with a race at home.”
Janyk won World Cup downhill winner in Aspen in 2007. Defending champion Shona Rubens (Canmore, Alberta) finished third Monday while national development team member Victoria Whitney (Whistler, British Columbia) was the top junior, placing fourth overall.
The GMC Canadian Championships continue today with the men’s super G and ladies super combined. The GMC March of Champions will bring Canada’s top slalom skiers to Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park on Saturday to end the 2010 national alpine ski racing championships with a dual slalom event including several 2010 Olympians.