SAALBACH, Austria – Frédérique Turgeon of Candiac, Que., put fear aside and won the gold medal in the women’s standing downhill on Wednesday at a World Cup Para alpine skiing competition.
The victory came on what is considered one of the most dangerous hills on the circuit and has gobbled up more than its fair share of skiers.
Turgeon crashed in a downhill training run just before the Beijing Paralympics last March. She tore her quad muscle and missed the Games. She’s admitted that she’s been apprehensive about the downhill this season but she knows courage is an essential ingredient to be successful in alpine ski racing.
Wednesday’s win was the one-legged skier’s first World Cup gold since 2019.
‘’It was scary,’’ admitted Turgeon, 23. ‘’There were dangerous areas, and it was quite a challenge on one leg. There are a lot of jumps and turns that pull you in all directions.’’
Turgeon clocked 1:17.79 for the win with Anna-Maria Rieder of Germany second in 1:18.40 and Aurélie Richard of France third in 1:19.51.
‘’My times weren’t as good in training, so I surprised a few,’’ said Turgeon. ‘’I’m pleased I was able to manage all that and win on one of the most difficult courses.’’
Kurt Oatway of Calgary was fourth in the men’s sitting downhill and Alexis Guimond of Gatineau, Que., fifth in the men’s standing downhill.
Competition continues Thursday with another downhill for men and women.