Sat, Nov 24, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Guay announces retirement after teammate’s crash

AFP, LAKE LOUISE, Canada

Ski racer Erik Guay on Thursday abruptly announced his retirement, saying his hasty exit from the sport was sparked by Canadian teammate Manuel Osborne-Paradis’ training crash a day earlier.

Osborne-Paradis fractured his fibula and tibia bones after crashing heavily during a training run for today’s World Cup season-opening downhill in Lake Louise.

“It did have an impact, absolutely. I was starting just a few numbers after Manny yesterday when I heard that he’d crashed and he needed to be airlifted,” Guay told CBC Sports. “I kind of put myself in his situation and I was just thinking: ‘Oh man, if that happened to me right now, I don’t know if I have the energy to go through that rehab process again.’”

Guay and Osborne-Paradis had been hoping to represent Canada on their home snow in this weekend’s International Ski Federation World Cup downhill and super-G races.

During his career, the 37-year-old Montreal native underwent a half dozen knee operations. More recently, some troubling back pain forced him to miss this year’s Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea.

Guay is one of Canada’s most decorated skiers, having competed in three Olympic Games. He finished his lengthy career with five victories across several speed disciplines over 231 World Cup starts.

He competed in the Winter Games in Turin, Vancouver and Sochi, with his best result coming from the downhill in 2006 in Italy when he just missed the podium by finishing fourth.

Guay won two golds at the World Championships, including a downhill win seven years ago at Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany.

“Today is a bittersweet day as I close a chapter on what has been a significant part of my life,” Guay said. “[I spent] decades of striving to be the best ski racer in the world, representing my country around the globe and being a member of an incredible team.”

After he was airlifted, Osborne-Paradis was expected to undergo surgery.

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