They say a smile can go a long way …
BEAVER CREEK – Something about hearing everyone in earshot complain about how ridiculous it was to hold a race in such bad conditions sent a charge of adrenaline through Erik Guay.
The Canadian, like all the others competing in the Birds of Prey super-G Thursday, was probably not smiling much at the top of the race course as swirling winds hammered through the start gates, but he sure couldn’t stop grinning when he reached the bottom in second place.”Don’t jinx me,” Guay joked upon being congratulated. As the 17th starter, Guay waited with baited breath as Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, Michael Walchhofer and all the other hopeful podium finishers were unable to match his silver-medal time of 1 minute, 17.37 seconds.
It was the second World Cup podium for Guay, who finished just 0.04 seconds behind winner, Hannes Reichelt. Conditions were far from ideal for Thursday’s race, and long before they dug their claws into racers on-course, they were weighing heavily on the minds of those awaiting their kick outs.
“That’s the image I got up there at the start,” Guay said. “You’re always going to be a little bit nervous and a little bit scared going down a course like that, but you put it beside yourself and do your normal thing. I saw everybody talking to each other up there like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe we’re going to start. I can’t believe we’re doing this.’ I just got psyched on it and went for it.”Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext.14632, or email@example.com.