World Cup Slalom Victory for Canada
The World Cup slalom event held on Sunday at Ofterschwang in Germany was certainly a memorable one, as Erin Mielzynski became the first Canadian woman to win the event in 41 years. This was also the young 21-year-old skier’s first World Cup victory.
Erin Mielzynski seems to excel at skiing both in water and on the snow. She was a silver medalist in the 2006 World Waterskiing Junior Championships. She launched her snow skiing World Cup career in 2009, going on to ski for Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Mielzynski has enjoyed a number of top 20 finishes and now has this fantastic victory to her name.
The last Canadian woman to win a slalom race was Betsy Clifford, who did so in 1971. Mielzynski managed to capture first place in a combined time of 1:53.59, just .05 ahead of Resi Stiegler from America. In third place was Marlies Schild of Austria, at .07 behind Mielzynski. Conditions on Sunday were challenging with the snow becoming rather soft and slushy due to warmer weather. Mielzynski’s first run gave her the fifth-fastest time, while her second was 18. But she did better than the others on the deteriorating snow, to lead them in combined time. Slovenian Tina Maze, who came in top position in the first run, crashed out on the second run.
Other Canadians who competed on the day were Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Anna Goodman. Gagnon came in fifth overall with a time of 1:53.80. Goodman took 17th place, which was her fourth top-30 finish for this season. Canada’s alpine women’s team had been facing difficulties, particularly after the retirements of Allison Forsyth, Emily Brydon, Genevieve Simar and Britt Janyk. The team needed some encouragement, and that is exactly what Mielzynski’s win has done. She expressed that she is sure that there will be many more podiums now that the ice has been broken.
It has been a good season for Marlies Schild from Austria so far. Along with this third place finish, she has won six slaloms. She is 299 points ahead of Tina Maze, and there are just two races left. Schild is looking forward to enjoying the skiing at Schladming without any worries, having secured the World Cup before reaching the finals.