The sun that finally pierced the clouds over Vancouver was golden for Swiss skier Didier Defago on Monday.
But dark clouds of dissapointment remained for Manuel Osborne-Paradis and his Canadian alpine teammates.
Defago won gold in the men’s alpine downhill event with a time of 1:54.31. The swiss skiier, ranked sixth in World Cup standings, was participating in his third Olympics.
“I really wanted to go home with a medal. After three Olympics and a lot of championships, I think my experience made the difference,” Defago told the Associated Press.
Osborne-Paradis placed a disconcerting 17th place on Monday.
Canada’s projected top medal hope in the event was tied for the lead mid-way through his run at the Dave Murray downhill course. However, a costly error on the crucial Coach’s Corner turn prevented a trip to the podium.
“One turn ruined my whole race,” said Osborne Paradis to CTV, who finished in a time of 1:55.44.
Unlike his Canadian counterpart, reigning world champion Aksel Lund Svindel of Norway did make it to the podium, capturing the silver in 1:54.38, while American Bode Miller, in a time of 1:54.40, won bronze.
Canada’s top result went to Erik Guay of Mont Tremblant, Quebec, who placed an impressive fifth, in a time of 1:54.64.
Conversely, the most disappointed Canuck was perhaps Robbie Dixon, who’s downhill medal hopes were quickly dashed. The North Vancouver native slipped and fell on the slick olympic run, and was unable to finish the race.
Jan Hudec of Calgary, Alberta, battling back from knee injuries, completed the course in a time of 1:56.19 for 25th spot.
All four Canadian cowboys will have a chance at redemption on Wednesday, when they’ll be back in action in the alpine super giant slalom.