By Nikki Fredrikson
Special to the Pioneer
Four years ago downhill racer Manny Osborne-Paradis was in Europe preparing to head into his third Olympic Games in Sochi Russia. Fast forward four years and the veteran Olympian is at home in Invermere, B.C. spending his last week before the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea with family.
Mr. Osborne-Paradis was using his last days preparing for the Games by de-stressing at his home mountain Panorama Mountain Resort.
“It’ll be a couple stressful weeks for sure and with the Olympics, nothing runs smoothly. It’s a one-off event and it’s a huge event. Going in with a calm attitude and knowing things will take double the time that they should. It’s good to come in fresh,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis.
Throughout his final days of practice Mr. Osborne-Paradis focused on turn shape and generating speed, he said that heading into a competition you never change anything. You simply focus on tactics that will benefit the event.
“It’s pretty medium terrain in Pyeongchang so making sure that you’re generating speed every turn is a necessity, that you need to do well or be even in contention. Just getting the feeling of powering every turn making sure that every turn generates speed and it doesn’t just carry speed,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis.
Going into his fourth Olympics Mr. Osborne-Paradis said he feels like an underdog, adding it’s a nice feeling to not have as much pressure going into the races.
Looking back at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics he was a favourite heading into his events, ranked fourth in the world he felt enormous pressure to perform well. He said in the speed races the guys with pressure on them don’t tend to do well.
For the 2018 season, Mr. Osborne-Paradis has been focusing on peaking during the Games but admits he hasn’t been skiing as fast as he wants to.
“We’re playing catch up a little bit,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis. Adding “if you’re going to find your mojo this is the week to do it.”
After spending the week in Invermere de-stressing, getting used to Team Canada apparel and getting in some final runs, he’ll set off to South Korea. Once there he will spend a few days getting over jet lag and practicing on the official course before competing on the world stage.
The Pioneer was unable to reach Ben Thomsen before press time for an interview. He also spent his last training days at Panorama Mountain Resort. We wish both local athletes all the best at the 2018 Winter Olympics!