Tragedy hits VanderBeek prior to race

SHAWN SLAUGHT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:09 PM ET

LAKE LOUISE — Kelly VanderBeek will be skiing in this weekend’s World Cup events at Lake Louise with a heavy heart.

During Thursday’s training run, VanderBeek, of Kitchener, Ont., learned of the news her mother-in-law had died. Her husband, David Ford, flew back home to be with his family earlier in the week.

“My team is family and they were all there for me,” said VanderBeek. “It is just hard when you are grieving so fiercely and you are the only one grieving. But David came back and it meant a lot to me.”

Unsure was to whether she should be racing this weekend, it was Ford who told her to keep going.

“We stayed up chatting Friday night and this morning he said ‘OK, you have a race to do today let’s get it together,’” she said.

VanderBeek got off to a great start right out of the gates Friday and was close to the leaders early on, but slowed as she went down the course and finished 13th.

“I skied a lot better,” VanderBeek said of Friday compared to training runs earlier in the week.

“But I just sucked at the bottom flat, which is normally where I rip. Unfortunately, I lost my time down there. I would have been in the top-10 without that.”

On the World Cup, VanderBeek has three career podium finishes and has traditionally been strong at Lake Louise. In 2006, she found the podium with a third place finish at the Canadian course in the Super G. She also had top-10 finishes in Lake Louise in 2006 in the downhill and 2008 in Super G.

Her other podium finishes came at Sestriere, Italy, with a second place finish in 2008 and St. Anton/Arlberg, Austria, with a second place finish in 2007.

VanderBeek is one of the two Canadians on the national team that was Olympic experience in the speed events.

She was 24th in the downhill at the Torino Olympics in 2006 and was only .03 seconds off of winning a medal in the Super G.


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