Photograph: Canadian Press
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – Canadians climbing the lads’s downhill ladder as a crew to problem European dominance is a well-known script.
For the primary time in his profession, the Canadian nationwide crew has three athletes on the rostrum on the world championships, and James Crawford is beginning the season with an Olympic medal.
The crew tradition is just like that of the current Canadian Cowboys period, in addition to the Mad Canucks of the final century, the place intense inside competitors drives their efficiency and the outcomes of success float others’ boats.
“You are actually excited in your teammate, and that motivates you and makes you wish to do the identical factor,” Brody Seger stated of the crew dynamic.
Toronto’s Crawford, North Vancouver’s Cameron Alexander, Whistler’s Seger and Broderick Thompson and Calgary’s Jeff Reed, ages 25 to twenty-eight, use one another as benchmarks and work their method up and down the rankings. medal.
“I believe it comes from a bunch of men who’re fairly good mates off the mountain, but in addition very aggressive,” Crawford defined. “It does not occur fairly often between the 2 of us, however I believe we’re in a really wholesome place now the place we’re all feeding off one another.”
The 2022-23 males’s downhill season kicks off Friday in Lake Louise, Alta., adopted by super-G races Saturday and Sunday at Canada’s solely cease on the World Cup mountain circuit.
World Cup champion Marco Odermatt of Switzerland set the quickest time in Thursday’s closing observe. Crawford completed third.
Two-time world champion Eric Guay led the Canadian Cowboys period from 2002 to 2020, with world champion climbers John Kucera, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Jan Hudek and Dustin Cook dinner standing on the rostrum at completely different occasions.
Steve Podborski, the primary North American to win the lads’s all-around world championship in 1982, and Jeff Reed’s father, Ken, the primary Canadian to win the lads’s downhill in 1975, supported the Mad Canucks.
Kucera coaches the present Canadian Mountaineers and sees similarities to his contemporaries.
“The place’s the true parallel, huh?” Kucera stated. “It isn’t only one man. It isn’t only one man or two guys coming in. To see 5 or 6 of them hitting persistently, that may be superb.
“There have been 5 or 6 of us from everywhere in the nation. We had been all completely different ages. All of us introduced one thing to the desk that complemented any person else. These guys now, they’re essentially completely different on that degree. All of them grew up collectively. They actually tight-knit. They’re like a band of brothers in a method.”
On the 2021 world championships in Cortina, Italy, Seger and Crawford completed fourth in super-G and alpine, respectively, a sign of the rising expertise.
Crawford gained Olympic bronze within the Mountain class in February, adopted by silver on the World Cup Tremendous-G in Kvitfeld, Norway, the next month. He additionally positioned fourth in downhill and sixth in super-G in Beijing.
“I personally discovered that it matches very nicely with what I am doing,” Crawford stated. “The remainder of the crew was rather less constant, and that did not negate the truth that they had been all snowboarding on the similar or increased degree than me when it comes to precise potential.
“Coming into the season, I really feel like everybody has their heads heading in the right direction. We have executed an amazing job and I would not be stunned if all the opposite guys are preventing with me day by day. It has been a bizarre consequence.”
Alexander, who is not going to race in Lake Louise, gained the lads’s downhill after lacking practically two seasons with a knee harm. He lately wrote on Instagram that he re-injured his knee throughout dryland coaching on the finish of final season.
Thompson gained his first world championship medal a yr in the past by ending third within the super-G race in Beaver Creek, Colo.
“This podium gave me confidence final yr and I believe it gave my teammates confidence as nicely,” Thompson stated. “If all of us go as arduous as we will, considered one of us will certainly be on the rostrum.”
Purple Kvitfeld hits first prime 10 downhill. Seger completed fourth after consolidating the Olympic Mt.
“I believe our crew as an entire is beginning to present a aggressive prime pace, and I’ve little doubt that there might be many extra podiums for this crew,” Reed stated.
“Now we have sufficient time now on all of the tracks and we aren’t new. Now we have expertise and we all know the place to push to be quick.”
The Loopy Canucks nickname comes from a European journalist, whereas the Canadian Cowboys tag is a advertising initiative by Alpine Canada.
The Norwegians are recognized in circles as “Raiding Vikings”.
An unofficial title has but to be decided for this version of the Canadian Males’s Downhill Staff.
“It has to return organically,” Reed stated. “It isn’t one thing that is actually made up and compelled on others. I am certain it is going to come once we’re all striving for the highest.”
This report was first revealed by The Canadian Press on November 24, 2022.