Feb 13, 2015
GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Canada collected a rare Universiade medal in alpine skiing on Friday, when Ève Routhier of Sherbrooke, Que., raced to a third-place finish in the women’s slalom on the Universiade Slope course at the Sierra Nevada ski resort.
Competing in her second race of the 27th FISU Winter Games, the Laval University student-athlete grabbed third position after her first run, with a stellar time of 48.81, and managed to keep her podium finish despite a slower time of 50.52 on the second run. Austria’s Kathrin Auer had been in first place (48.50) after the initial run, but she recorded a drastically slower second run (53.93), finishing 16th overall, allowing Routhier to hold onto bronze.
Norway’s Thea Grosvold claimed the gold, while Germany’s Monica Huebner earned silver.
“I came here wanting a medal for sure, but anything can happen on a day like today,” said Routhier, who recorded a DNF in Wednesday’s giant slalom. “It was really nice outside, the snow was good, and the course was good. I made some mistakes, but I think everybody made mistakes. I was the third one down, and I was super happy.
“It was really cool – you see it on TV during the Olympics, but for once I got to step on the podium. And then to see the flag going up, I felt proud.”
It’s just the third time in Canadian history that an alpine athlete has reached the podium in Universiade alpine competition, and the first since 1991 when Josée Lacasse won gold in the slalom in Sapporo, Japan. Back in 1972 in Lake Placid, N.Y., Lisa Richardson won Canada’s first alpine medal, a gold in the downhill.
Canada’s other entrants in Friday’s women’s slalom were Victoria Stevens of Ottawa (9th), Natalie Knowles of Toronto (12th), Laurence Vallerand of Île-des-Soeurs, Que. (22nd), Stéphanie Gould of Ottawa (29th) and Claudia Paquin, who did not finish.
The top three placing continues alpine’s ascent up the rankings at the 2015 Universiade. After a disappointing start to the games, as well as postponements due to weather, the Canadian skiers have managed a handful of top 10 finishes in recent days.
Stevens’ ninth place in the slalom was her second Top 10 of the games, after she finished eighth in the super combined last Saturday.
Vincent Lajoie of Sherbrooke, Que., earned fifth in the men’s combined event on Sunday, while teammate William Scheussler of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., finished one spot behind Lajoie for sixth place. Gould, who attends Laval University, managed an eighth placing in the women’s giant slalom on Wednesday as well.
“We came so close early in the week,” said team leader Sébastien Michel. “Vincent had the fastest splits on both Super G runs, only to make mistakes at the bottom. We have been close, but we knew if we had a chance at a medal today was the day. Ève skied great today.
“It’s a great experience for them,” he went on. “We have high standards for our student-athletes in Canada, and we see them put as much time into school as they do into training. It’s great that they get the opportunity to come here – it’s the Olympics for student-athletes.”
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
CANADA’S UNIVERSIADE MEDALS IN ALPINE SKIING (2-0-1):
2015 (Granada, Spain): Ève Routhier – slalom (bronze)
1991 (Sapporo, Japan): Josée Lacasse – slalom (gold)
1972 (Lake Placid, USA): Lisa Richardson – downhill (gold)
About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from January 24 to February 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: