Woolstencroft skis to fourth gold medal

BOB MACKIN , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET

WHISTLER: It was the February to forget for Canada’s alpine ski team, which left the Vancouver Olympics without a single medal.

At the 2010 Winter Paralympics, North Vancouver skier Lauren Woolstencroft is having her most memorable March with four gold medals at Creekside and a chance for a fifth.

The 2006 International Paralympic Committee athlete of the year registered her latest victory in the standing super giant slalom Friday after winning the downhill, slalom and giant slalom. She is also the 2009 world champion in the same four disciplines.

"It's definitely more than I expected. I knew I had it in me,” Woolstencroft said. “Obviously I'm super happy I didn't retire. I just had a great four years (since Torino)."

Woolstencroft was the giant slalom champion and super giant slalom runner-up at Turin 2006 after winning gold in the slalom and super giant slalom and bronze in giant slalom at Salt Lake 2002. She is scheduled to race in Saturday’s super combined, the only world or Olympic championship event she has never won.

Also Friday, Viviane Forest of Edmonton won her second silver medal of the Games with her guide Lindsay Debou of Whistler in the visually impaired super giant slalom. Forest won gold a day earlier in downhill.

"I'm very fatigued. I was running totally out of gas and we agreed it's better to make it down safe than to push it,” said Forest, 30. “We pushed hard yesterday and we can really feel it."

Forest also has a silver from slalom and a bronze in giant slalom. She will seek her fifth trip to the podium in the visually impaired super combined on Saturday.

Sweden advanced to meet Canada in the Saturday morning wheelchair curling semifinal with a dramatic two-point comeback in the eighth end to beat Italy 6-5 on Friday. U.S. and South Korea play the other semifinal. The medal matches are Saturday afternoon at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre.

World sledge hockey champion United States meets underdog Japan for the gold medal on Saturday at Thunderbird Arena. U.S. beat Norway 3-0 on Thursday night.

Japan upset defending Paralympic champion Canada 3-1 in the other Thursday semifinal.

The Games close Sunday with a nationally televised ceremony from Whistler Medals Plaza at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Athletes will parade through Whistler Village before performances by Winnipeg singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca


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