Austrian returns to snag super-G

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- It was on these same slopes Alexandra Meissnitzer almost had her career cut short six years ago.

But yesterday, crossing the finish with another gold medal wrapped around her neck, it was obvious she's completely healed.

"This victory's pretty emotional for me," Meissnitzer said after leading a trio of Austrians to the podium yesterday at the Winterstart World Cup.

"I'm winning here again and it's very special. I love coming back to Lake Louise because it's a beautiful place and I love skiing here."

Meissnitzer's time of one minute, 21.73 seconds was good enough to capture her second super-G title at Lake Louise, the first coming in 1998.

Following that victory, the 32-year-old Austrian returned a year later only to tear her ACL, threatening her chances of racing again.

"I had some big problems with my health and it took six years to come back but now I'm feeling better again," said Meissnitzer, who beat teammates Andrea Fischbacher (1:21.83) and Michaela Dorfmeister (1:22.56) yesterday.

"I wasn't sure if I'd be able to continue skiing. But now I'm back and to win here, it really means a lot to me."

The Canadians had their best performance of the weekend yesterday, when Genevieve Simard of Val Morin, Que., captured the 11th-spot in a time of 1:23.37.

"It was a good start to the season," said Simard. "I was a little nervous at the start because I knew I could do something good today.

"My training has been going good and I feel good on my super-G skis."

Kelly VanderBeek of Kitchener, Ont., finished her weekend in the 17th spot after she was timed at 1:23.57, while veterans Emily Brydon of Fernie, B.C., (1:24.19) and Canmore's Allison Forsyth (1:24.60) were 35th and 42nd, respectively.

"Disappointed," Brydon said of her weekend. "I learned a big lesson this weekend. Skiing became more of a mental game for me."

Calgarians Shona Rubens and Sherry Lawrence, both of whom came one step closer to earning their spot on the Canadian Olympic team after finishng in the top-30 in the downhill Friday, couldn't solidify those positions because of their respective 34th and 40th placings in the super-G.


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