Top 2014: Ending the drought


Read all of the Top 2014 Highlights

Guay was attending his third Olympics and had a very successful World Cup season. He won bronze in Bormio for his 21st World Cup podium, breaking Steve Podborski‘s Canadian record for the most career World Cup podiums.

Guay and the other Canadian Cowboys (Hudec and Manuel Osborne-Paradis) were expected to lead Canada’s alpine success in Sochi. Unfortunately, Guay started the Games off with a rough time in the downhill, which was his specialty, finishing in 10th place. Hudec and Osborne-Paradis didn’t have much success in the downhill either, finishing 21st and 25th, respectively.

Their final chance to break the curse was in the Super-G, which happened to be Hudec’s best discipline. Having captured a World Cup silver in the Super-G at Val Gardena only a month before the Games, Hudec had lots of confidence.

During a training run on the day before the Super-G, Hudec (aka Panda) buried a Lucky Loonie at the finish line, hoping it would help break the curse. Little did he know that it would actually work.

Burried a loonie on the finish Line today. C/O Kerin lee Gartner and @gartnermax #canadaproud #wearewinter @cdnolympicteam

A photo posted by Jan Hudec (@pandahausofrock) on

Hudec, who persevered through several major knee surgeries during his career, was only the 22nd of 63 racers out of the gates but he laid down a solid run of 1:18.67. He sat at the bottom of the hill and watched as one racer after the next failed to eclipse his time.

When all was said and done, Hudec won the bronze medal, finishing in a tie with American Bode Miller. The significance of the medal was not lost on him:

“To be standing here now, it’s honestly unbelievable. I just feel really thankful and blessed. It doesn’t feel like it is my medal because there are so many people who helped me get to this point and help support me and stuck with me throughout the years. This is just the icing on the cake.” – Hudec

The curse had finally been broken! Hudec’s bronze increased Canada’s total Olympic medal count in alpine skiing to 11 (four gold, one silver, six bronze).

Jan Hudec compeitng in the men’s Super-G (Photo: CP)
Hudec celebrates his bronze medal (Photo: CP)
Hudec poses after winning Spuer-G bronze (Photo: CP)
Hudec and the other Super-G medalists (Photo: CP)
Jan Hudec holds up the Lucky Loonie that he buried at the finish line (Photo: CP)
Huden stands on the podium after receiving his bronze medal (Photo: CP)
Scott Harrigan
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