For some, celebrating your birthday may be exciting enough, but for Invermere resident and pro downhill skier Manny Osborne- Paradis, his 33rd birthday fell on the day he won bronze in the mens Super-G at the 2017 Alpine Skiing World Championshipsin St. Moritz, Switzerland on February 8th.
Pretty special day. My mom was over there and to have 40,000 people sing happy birthday and to do well, Mr. Osborne- Paradis told The Pioneer, recounting the experience. I switched ski companies the year prior and to be able to get a medal for them as well, taking a risk on another athlete, there was a lot of emotions for sure.
For Mr. Osborne-Paradis, who hasn’t been on the podium in Super G since 2009, this medal was a long time coming.
It’s been kinda a tough event for me to podium in so I think just that makes it that much more special, he said.
Prior to the World Championship, the Canadian team trained in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria with the Austrian womens team. This location apparently was the best spot for pre-race training as both the Canadian and Austrians earned speed medals. Mr. Osborne-Paradis said you could just tell training in that area of Austria paid off.
The course was one of the harder Super G courses with high speed, blind jumps, and flat light, he added.
I felt very comfortable on my skis. The training we had in Saalbach was dark (in terms of visibility); I just felt like a lot of guys overskied the course and I was able to take advantage of just charging and taking a lot of risks and getting away with most of it, said Mr. Osborne- Paradis.
With a quick turnaround between events, he was back in the Valley for a brief five days following the World Championships, spending two days at Panorama Mountain Resort training.
Normally, I’m training on Old Timer. I’ll go up before the mountain opens or if it’s not busy on a weekday I’ll be able to train during the weekdays, he said.
According to Mr. Osborne-Paradis, being able to come home and train on an area that’s safe with netting is a huge bonus, and very few racers have that opportunity. Along with his training in Europe and at Panorama, he’s been working with the Windermere Valley Ski Club.
I’ve been training quite a bit with the Windermere Valley Ski Club. Their coach Helmut Spiegl or Glen Thompson will set a course, more so for World Cup, and in return some of their kids get to ski with me or train in the course. It’s been a nice tradeoff and Pano has been unbelievable with making sure I have hill space and training areas for when I need to come and train at home, he said.
Mr. Osborne-Paradis is already back in Europe preparing for his next competition in Norway, the FIS Ski World Cup Kvitfjell from February 24th to 26th. Follow him on Instagram at manny_ski, on Facebook at MannySki or on Twitter at manny_ski.