Rough day on the slopes for Canadian men

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:32 PM ET

BLUE MOUNTAINS, Ont. — There was no gold in the hills for the Canadian men’s ski cross team on Wednesday, but there was a silver lining.

Disappointment was the order of the day at the World Cup with Chris Del Bosco and Stanley Hayer, both multiple medallists on the World Cup circuit, failing to qualify for the final.

But 23-year-old Brady Leman of Calgary demonstrated that he certainly will be a force for the future, winning the small (consolation) final to finish fifth overall, some rare good news for Leman.

Last year at a World Cup race in La Plagne, France, Leman, a rookie on the circuit, crashed and broke his right tibia.

“I was off my feet for about two months, I had an operation in France, they put a rod and some pins in and they took a couple of the screws out in the middle of the summer,” Leman said. “I skied in August very gently and in the fall (of 2009) I started training pretty hard and I was training really well.”

Unfortunately, Leman injured the leg again early in the season and only recently managed to get back into action.

“I’m feeling 80-90% most race days,” he said. “It’s to the point I’m not thinking about it in the start gate. That was the problem in the first few races: ‘Is this going to hurt? How bad is it going to hurt? Am I going to make it worse?’ Now it’s starting to feel better. I’ve got a brace that I wear that helps things out a little bit. It keeps getting better and better every race and I hope that continues.”

Because he missed so many events, Leman is a long shot to qualify for the Vancouver Olympics. But yesterday’s fifth-place finish, his best on the circuit, demonstrated that he is back in business.


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