Monday, July 15, 2024

3rd place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen | Mary Michel Gagnon: “I wasn’t expecting that!”

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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(Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany) When she saw the number “3” on the scoreboard, Marie-Michel Gagnon initially thought she had finished 13HLike last week in Crans-Montana.

Simon DrouinSimon Drouin

No, she finished third in Super G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Saturday, her first World Cup trophy podium since her joint win five years ago in Andorra.

“Whoa! I was not waiting for this! Skater reaction from Lac-Etchemin, all smiles in front of the camera in the finish area.”

On the phone an hour later, between his soup and his bakery, Gagnon wanted to talk more than eat.

This is the first platform since it chose to dedicate itself to the speed disciplines (super-G and slope), four years ago, it was craving it with impatience. Especially since she missed an entire season, including the PyeongChang Olympiad, after a serious knee injury at the end of a training tour at Lake Louise in November 2017.

Photo by Christoph Stach, France Media Agency

“I’m really happy,” the 31-year-old admitted. I am proud to hold fast to my decision, not because I have flipped it. Of course, it was tougher than I expected to get off quickly with the injury in Lake Louise. It delayed me too much in speeding up. But I clearly have no regrets. ”

I knew I had the power to create superior podiums. This is just the beginning for me.

Mary Michel Gagnon

Parties from among the top ten, Swiss Lara Gott Behrami (1 minute 70 seconds), big favorite, and Norwegian Kagsa Vikhove Lee (1 minute 16 seconds 38) took the first places when Quebec started with the bip. She was concerned that the mild weather in Bavaria was having a major impact on the Kandahar 1 course, which was originally scheduled to host a slope on Saturday. But the salts the regulators distributed overnight worked well.

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However, Gagnon feared that he had blocked the skis too much at the entrance to another steep section, called “Hell” (“Hell”).

“You have been sanctified brake, As we say in Quebec … I started too late because I arrived faster than I expected. I lost a lot of speed. But other girls did, too. It wasn’t as easy as the door. When I looked [le tableau]I was expecting to end up in Top 15 Or something like that. There I saw a “3”, I thought to myself: What is it, 13H one more time ? No, I only saw 3 … Gosh ! Gorgeous ! »

The only Canadian contender, Gagnon crossed the 93-part streak behind Jute Bahrami, who scored his third successive victory in Super J. By seven hundred, Mont Original club producer Sophia Gogia, the slope rating leader, had been removed from the podium.

To see its full descent:

“Today, I did nothing special,” Gagnon said. It was a great run, but I do it every day at workouts. I feel great on my skates. I skated 85% of my maximum. That’s an ideal ratio for now. Before the races in Crans-Montana (13H And 11HI made several trips in a row. It took me some results to regain my confidence. Just great track skate 70% with no real attack. I was also surprised that I ended up so close Top 10 however. ”

She thus won fifth place in her World Cup career, which began in December 2008. In addition to two combined victories, she placed third in slalom, her former favorite system (6H In ranking of 2014).

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His decision to switch to speed was slightly surprising.

I knew Super J suited me well throughout my career. My best Super J results were when I played with my first national team at the age of 17. I broke my leg and they gave me a technique when I got back. I knew I had the potential.

Mary Michel Gagnon

This is the first podium for the Canadian alpine skating team since Ronnie Remy finished second in the Combined Group in Crans-Montana in February 2019. In the Women’s Super J, the last podium was returned to British-Colombian Emily Brydon at St. Moritz at … 2008.

The only Canadian in speed this season, Gagnon had to fight in the spring to get support from the Canadian team, which is on a tight budget. The new board members counted out of their pockets to fund a small women’s speed structure and hire a coach, Italian Hansjörg Plankensteiner.

The latter played a major role during the even more difficult streak earlier this month. “It kept me confident,” said Gagnon. Even though we had to get off track, it wasn’t the end of the world. He told me to continue believing in myself. He is very good in the psychological aspect. ”

Now eighth in the ranking, Gagnon will start at 16H From the second Super J scheduled for Sunday. One last chance to prepare for the Cortina d’Ampezzo World Championship, which will open on February 8th with a total.

“He’s really cool, he’s cool to trust. It doesn’t pressure me either. I would have felt if it took me a perfect descent to get to the podium. The day wasn’t perfect. It’s encouraging and I can’t wait to see it. It’s always nice to confidently participate in a series of races.” ”

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Come on, it will cool the risotto …

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