Four down, eight more to go

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- Sensing his team was on the brink of of greatness, Ken Read knew he needed to up his medal goal for the World Cup season from seven to 12.

However, after two successful weeks in which the men's team earned three medals and the women one, perhaps it's time for Alpine Canada's CEO to rethink those numbers.

With such a hot start, there's no reason to think Canadians couldn't earn upwards of 20 medals heading into next year's world championships.

Read doesn't want to get carried away just yet.

"We're just working on our plan and keep the effort moving forward," said Read after Kelly VanderBeek won super-G bronze in Lake Louise and Michael Janyk won slalom silver in Beaver Creek, Colo.

"We've always aimed to be a world leader in 2010 and we've got a few more years to work on it but it's very promising to see the season start so positively."

Calgarian John Kucera's gold-medal super-G run the previous weekend at Lake Louise provided motivation for the Canadian ski team.

VanderBeek said the Canadian squads saw Kucera's win as a turning point.

"Last night, we were all watching Kucera's run again, again and again," said VanderBeek following her medal run.

"The conditions were the exact same and so we watched his run, we knew how he was doing it and he was so relaxed and so committed. I went out there with the image of Kucera and

I knew I could do it."

Max Gartner, chief athletics officer of Alpine Canada, was encouraged to see all the hard work pay off.

"Our team is on the right track," he said. "Downhill is a weak spot but the coaching staff had a lot of confidence in our super-G skills. We are heading to Europe with a lot of confidence ... Performing under pressure at home, our team had to learn to deal with more intensity in preparation for 2010 where pressure will be higher."


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