'Perfect' but still second

SHAWN SLAGHT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- American Lindsey Vonn continued her dominance at Lake Louise yesterday, winning the first of two World Cup downhill races this weekend, while Canada's Emily Brydon was second.

Brydon, a native of Fernie, B.C., finished just over half a second behind Vonn. This is Brydon's eighth career podium on the World Cup.

"I skied as perfect as I could have today and I needed Lindsey to make a mistake to beat her, and she skied well," Brydon said. "I couldn't have done any better."

Picking up a medal on the first downhill of the weekend at Lake Louise is huge, according to Brydon, as momentum is now on her side.

"At least I have confidence on my side," Brydon said. "Who knows what will happen tomorrow, but I will remember today forever."

Brydon wasn't the only Canadian skier wearing a smile after yesterday's race.

Not far off the pace was Britt Janyk of Whistler, who finished fourth, .29 seconds off of a podium spot.

"There was a sense of calm and excited energy and I think that is why we are in good position, because we weren't too nervous and we knew we were capable of good results," Janyk said.

Kelly VanderBeek struggled on the lower portion of the course and settled for a 13th-place finish.

Among the other Canucks in the field, Larisa Yurkiw was 24th, Shona Rubens 45th and Georgia Simmerling 51st.

Although VanderBeek couldn't match her previous success at Lake Louise, she was thrilled to see two of her teammates so close to the top of the leaderboard.

"Second and fourth, I am so pumped for them," VanderBeek said. "If they are there, I know that I am right there with them through training as well. It means we are here and we are back.

"The snow queens are back in form."

Mother Nature was in familiar form, too.

It was a snowy day at Lake Louise, with flurries throughout the race, but that didn't hold Brydon back.

"This is what I grew up in," she said. "This is powder, this is Fernie, so why not make it my day."

Brydon started ninth and didn't get off to a good start. She made up for it, though, finishing in one minute and 26.65 seconds.

"When you have the feeling of waiting in the finish for the podium results you know that your hard work has paid off," Brydon said.

She struggled through the training runs earlier in the week, yet picked up the pace when it came to race day.

"I went into fifth gear," she laughed. "I realize that as I get older I have different gears, and I'm just not willing to risk it all on training runs."

The weekend wraps up with the second downhill today and the Super G tomorrow.

CAL-SPORTS@SUNMEDIA.CA


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