Against the odds, Erik Guay overcame nagging back pain to put in golden performance on the downhill course at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on February 12, earning the crown of downhill world champion. Guay's run of one minute 58.41 seconds was three-tenths better than anyone else could muster on the famed Garmisch course...
"There’s no doubt about it, I love Garmisch. I won my first downhill race on the tour here back in 2007 and I’ve always felt confident on the hill ever since that win.
"I love coming here every year: The warm weather is great, the town is fantastic and I just love everything about it - And, I have five podiums places and three wins here since 2007!
"It was a good run, but not perfect. I just stayed calm and stuck to my game plan, pushed to my limit and hit the really key areas with speed. And my back felt good, even after giving me a bit of a rough ride during training earlier in the month. So, it looks like the planets aligned for me.
"We’ve had such a tough year for the Canadian team so far with all the injuries."
"But this one was for the team. We’ve had such a tough year for the Canadian team so far with all the injuries. This is for John Kucera (who was world champion in 2009), Manny Osborne, François Bourque and all the other injuries we have had.
"I’ve had my share of aches and pains too, but I had a lot of people in my corner helping me get where I needed to be. So, this is also for my medical staff, my physio, my coaches and everyone who stood behind me and helped me peak at just the right time.
"To make it even better, I am the only Canadian skier on the men’s alpine team to ever win this and a Crystal Globe, which I also won a Garmisch last year - that’s pretty cool.
"But, really, none of this has really sunk in yet. All I know is I am world champion and it’s a pretty special feeling!"