Alpine Skiing

Curtis Ng - Sunday Feb. 16, 2014 02:18 ET

Jan Hudec's bronze snaps Canadian alpine medal drought

Calgarian 1st Canadian in 20 years to reach Olympic podium

Jan Hudec super-G, alpine
Canada's Jan Hudec reacts after the Men's Alpine Skiing Super-G at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
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A lucky loonie may have helped make Canadian Olympic history.

Jan Hudec became the first Canadian in 20 years to win an Olympic medal in alpine skiing on Sunday when he captured a bronze in the men's super-G competition.

Hudec, of Calgary, planted the coin at the finish line on Saturday. A day later, he crossed it with a time of one minute, 18.67 seconds, tying him with American Bode Miller for the bronze.

"Who cares if it helped," Hudec said after the race, laughing. "That loonie is worth more than a buck now, I can tell you that."

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway won gold with a time of 1:18.14, and American Andrew Weibrecht took the silver at 1:18.44.

The last Canadian to win an Olympic medal in alpine was Ed Podivinsky, who won a bronze in the downhill event at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. No Canadian man has ever won a gold or silver medal at the Olympics in alpine.

"It's almost like it doesn't even belong to me," Hudec said. "There's just been so many people that have supported me and seen me through to this point that it's the people's medal, more or less.

"I'm just so stoked that I could put down a race today. I've always been kind of a racehorse and I put it down when the pressure's on."

Hudec overcomes herniated disk

In order to even make it to Sochi, Hudec had to overcome a herniated disk he suffered in mid-January, which put his participation at these Games in question, not to mention the seven knee injuries he's endured over his career.

Podivinsky and Steve Podborski are the only other Canadian men with an Olympic alpine medal. Podborskiwon bronze in the downhill in 1980 at Lake Placid.

Kerrin Lee-Gartner is the last Canadian to capture Olympic gold in alpine, winning the women's downhill event at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville.

Montreal's Erik Guay, considered a medal contender heading into Sunday's super-G, started his run a little off-balance, and though he appeared to recover, started falling behind and eventually missed a gate.

It was another disappointment for Guay, who finished fifth in this discipline at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, missing the podium by three one-hundredths of a second.

Rookie Olympian Morgan Pridy of Whistler, B.C., put in a strong run of one minute, 19.19 seconds to finish 10th.

Rounding out the Canadian contingent was North Vancouver's Manuel Osborne-Paradis (tied for 24th), who did not have a strong performance, finishing 2.05 seconds back of Jansrud.

It was Jansrud's second medal in Sochi, having earned a bronze in the men's downhill event last Sunday.

 

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