By Nikki Fredrikson
Special to the Pioneer
Five races into the World Cup season and Manny Osborne-Paradis earned his qualification requirement to compete at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. After a successful season last year placing third at the Super G World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Mr. Osborne-Paradis needed one top 12 finish to qualify for the games.
Mr. Osborne-Paradis placed 10th during the ITA downhill competition in Bormio, Italy on Thursday, December 28th, 2017, securing his place on the Canadian Olympic Team. Coming into this World Cup season Mr. Osborne-Paradis knew his spot on the team was waiting as long as he got his qualification met.
“It’s nice to have it behind me coming into the new year, so I can focus solely on doing well and skiing with an all or nothing mentality,” he said.
“Qualifying for the Olympics is huge, it’s an honour to represent your country at not only World Cup but at the Olympic Games. There are only four athletes per discipline that can compete at the Olympic Games and to have qualified in downhill and super-g and to be going and being a part of Team Canada, even though you don’t say there’s some stress there to qualify it is there. Having had qualified now it’s a lot less stress,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis. “You can focus on the World Cup because the World Cup season is very important as well and there’s a lot riding on each race there too.”
With 18 races this season including his two Olympics races, Mr.Osborne-Paradis has been working to ensure he peaks during the two weeks of the games. Similar to his start last season Mr. Osborne-Paradis has seen a slow progression in his race results, going from top 20 placings to top 10 putting him where he needs to be in February.
“Everything is trending towards being in the right area to be successful at the Olympics, all you can do is give yourself a chance. It’s a sport of a lot of variables but I do feel like I’ve given myself that opportunity,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis.
Reflecting on his season thus far, Mr. Osborne-Paradis said his demeanor has been his biggest improvement.
“I think my demeanor as I’ve gotten older and more mature in the sport, you take your medium results or your slower races and you learn from them a little bit more. You don’t take them to heart,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis.
In addition to his title as a four-time Olympic athlete, Mr. Osborne-Paradis added director of speed to his resume after signing a multi-year deal with Panorama Mountain Resort. President and CEO of Panorama Mountain Resort, Steve Paccagnan said Panorama Resort is proud to sponsor Manny and help contribute to his success adding that Mr. Osborne Paradis is an ambassador for the resort.
“It’s been a quiet momentum that’s building and now we’ve taken it a step further. We’ve put together what will hopefully be a long partnership with Manny, helping him with his career and certainly his goals,” said Mr. Paccagnan.
Along with Mr. Osborne-Paradis, Panorama has been supporting local Ben Thomsen in his World Cup career through sponsorship.
“We’re proud to have both Ben and Manny as part of the Panorama family and we wish them all the success on the world cup circuit,” said Mr. Paccagnan.
Mr. Osborne-Paradis will be travelling throughout January but will return to Invermere for his final four days of training at Panorama Mountain Resort at the end of the month.