February 18, 2006
Bronze just out of reach
Guay places fourth
PAT GRIER -- Sun Media
Canada's Erik Guay leaves the finish area following his fourth place finish in the mens super G at the Winter Olympic Games in Sestriere Borgata, Italy on Saturday Feb 18, 2006.(CP PHOTO/COC/Jonathan Hayward)

TURIN, Italy - With his leg medicated because of a lingering knee injury, Canada's Erik Guay narrowly missed winning a bronze medal when he finished fourth in the men's Super-G this morning in Sestriere.

Guay, 24, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was third with just Austrian star Herman Maier remaining of the top-ranked skiers to race, but Maier edged the Canadian by 3/10ths of a second.

Norway's Andre Kjetil Aamodt won the gold with a time of one minute, 30.65 seconds, Maier took silver (1:30.78) and Switzerland's Ambrosi Hoffman grabbed the bronze (1:30.98). Guay's time was 1:31.08.

"(Maier) is a super skier and king of how to ski under pressure," Guay said. "Aamodt is a craft skier, but my result wasn't about the guys on the podium.

"Fourth is not a fun place to be. It's like being the first loser."

For Guay, just getting to the start line was an accomplishment. He injured his left knee in training in January and was forced to skip last Saturday's downhill because of the pain. He stayed off skis for a week and after testing it on Thursday, determined he was okay to race this morning.

Guay was given a cortisone injection prior to the morning start, but because snow forced the race to be rescheduled in the afternoon, he had to take another after the first wore off.

"I was disappointed in the mid-section," Guay said of his race. "I could have attacked more and taken a better line."

New Richmond, Quebec's Francois Bourque also had a strong race, finishing eighth (1:31.27). Manuel Osborne-Paradis of North Vancouver was 20th (1:32.02) and Calgary's John Kucera 22nd (1:32.10).

The race was originally scheduled for earlier this morning, but heavy snow forced a restart after 17 skiers had competed and Osborne-Paradis and Kucera sitting second and third.

Some skiers argued the afternoon restart gave an unfair advantage to those skiers who had already gone down the course, though any knowledge gained would likely be countered by having to race twice.

Frenchmen Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin, who sat first in the cancelled race, blew his second run and gave organizers the finger when he crossed the finish line after the restart.

But Liechtenstein's Marco Buechel, who finished fifth, had no issues with the four-hour delay.

"No problemo," said Beuchel, who was timed in 1:31.22. "We went back (to our hotel) and relaxed. Me, Bruno (Kernen of Switzerland) and Ambrosi Hoffman who won the medal today, we kind of cuddled."

The race was another disaster for American Bode Miller, who nearly crashed and did not finish. Touted to bring home a pocketful of medals, the brash Miller so far has none. He finished fifth in the downhill and was disqualified in the men's combined.

The downhill portion of the women's combined was also run today after snow forced its postponement yesterday.

Brigitte Acton of Ste-Jovite, Que., was 10th with a combined slalom-downhill time of 2:55.75 while Emily Brydon of Fernie, B.C. was 13th (2:56.51).