Prize will go a long way

ERIC FRANCIS

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- Not only did yesterday's win go a long way towards securing Jan Hudec's financial security, it may also have secured his marriage.

"My wife says if I ever come home with a minivan, she's leaving me," laughed the 26-year-old Calgarian minutes after winning the Bombardier Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup downhill.

"I guess this win takes care of that."

Teased by teammates for being one of the oldest members of the men's squad and the only father in the bunch, Hudec said all jokes about minivans will now cease as his first win secured a one-year lease from team sponsor GMC for the vehicle of his choice.

"I was joking with one of our GMC guys in Toronto, and I told him I wanted the new Yukon hybrid because it's the biggest vehicle he had, but I didn't want to pay for gas," said Hudec, whose wife Crystal and one-year-old son Oakland helped him celebrate.

"He told me if I won a race, I could have it."

The new vehicle comes with just a few months remaining on his current lease for the GMC Envoy he won with his world championship podium last season.

The vehicle is all part of the monetary windfall Hudec will receive as part of his win -- a much-needed boost for a skier who spent much of the last three years cutting grass and taking on other part-time jobs to make ends meet while he rehabbed from three knee surgeries.


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