TURIN, Italy -- Mere minutes after Michaela Dorfmeister ensured she'll leave the sport on top, Emily Brydon of Fernie, B.C., suggested she might leave in quite the opposite fashion.
Frustrated by the latest in a season of poor results, Brydon said after finishing 20th in the women's Olympic downhill yesterday she's unsure if she has the desire to continue on in the sport until the 2010 Games.
"I have to sit back and think," said an emotional Brydon, a former world junior champ whose best World Cup downhill result this season was 20th.
"I have a lot of unfinished dreams and a lot of unfinished goals. If I go (on), I go for four years. There are other things
I want to do. But I don't want to go out a loser. If I stop this year, I'd feel like I was giving up. That would be hard."
Even harder was trying to comprehend how she came up so short so often this season.
"I didn't perform to my abilities and to my expectations and to what I know I can," the 25-year-old said of yesterday's result.
"Everything I needed was in front of me. Why didn't I step up to the plate? I don't know. It's a hard question."
Dorfmeister, 32, left no questions about her legacy in the sport yesterday by finally adding the last jewel to her ski-racing crown.
"That elusive medal was probably the thing that has kept me skiing," said the teary-eyed Austrian, who announced in December this would be her last season.
"I had a special moment on the podium when no one was speaking to me -- I really enjoyed that moment. It is like a dream.
I didn't sleep for two nights because I was under so much pressure. But this morning
I felt very relaxed and, when I took the lift to the start, I said, 'Today I'll do it.' "
Dorfmeister edged Swiss skier Martina Schild, whose grandmother was the first Olympic women's downhill winner at the 1948 Games. Sweden's Anja Paerson was third.
Despite the fact it was the 14th anniversary of Kerrin Lee-Gartner's downhill gold in Albertville, there was no celebrating among Canadian skiers yesterday.
Kitchener's Kelly Vanderbeek, who won the final training run Tuesday, had trouble with the flat light to finish 24th and was followed by Olympic rookies Shona Rubens of Canmore (26th) and Calgary's Sherry Lawrence (27th).
"For sure, it's a disappointing day," Alpine Canada's Max Gartner said, echoing a familiar refrain these Games.
Earlier in the week Canmore's Allison Forsyth tore a ligament in her left knee in training and flew home for surgery.
The men's top medal hope, Erik Guay, missed the downhill because of a leg injury and has withdrawn from Monday's giant slalom. He has been rehabbing and skiing recreationally the past few days and will test the leg today with hopes of skiing in Saturday's super-G.