Erik Guay to miss Winter Olympics

One of Canada’s top medal hopes in alpine skiing is pulling out of the Games due to a back injury

World champion skier Erik Guay’s dream of an Olympic medal is over.

The Montreal native, one of Canada’s top medal hopes in alpine skiing, announced Wednesday that he will miss the Winter Games that begin Feb. 9 in Preongchang due to a back injury.

The 36-year-old has yet to decide whether to retire this year or next, but has no plans on sticking around for the 2022 Games in Beijing.

“I can definitely say I will not be there,” Guay said. “This was my final shot at the Olympic Games.

“As far as whether I’ll continue next year or not, that’s still a question mark. I think the remainder of the season is probably going to be finished for me.”

Guay was named to the Canadian team this week, but after testing his back, decided he was in no condition to compete.

“I had my doubts at the end of last week,” he said on a conference call. “I felt my back wasn’t progressing the way I want.

“But I wanted to wait until the last minute.”

An Olympic medal is about the only prize Guay has never won, although he came achingly close at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and in 2010 in Vancouver.

He felt that, despite his age, Pyeongchang would have been his best chance. He entered this season ranked fifth in the world after winning gold in the suger giant slalom and silver in the downhill at the world championships in March.

Guay has been dealing with back trouble all season. He was forced to pull out of a race at Lake Louise in November, then revealed in early January that he had a ruptured disc in his back and would skip a couple of World Cups to return home to recover.

He hasn’t raced since injuring his back again on Dec. 16 at Val Gardena, Italy.

Guay said can do off-snow traning and can even get on skis, but as soon as he goes into the tuck position, the back locks up and the pain returns.

Guay said it would be wiser to skip the rest of the season because his ranking will be somewhat protected due to his injury, while if he returned for only one race and did badly, he would drop out of the world’s top 30. That would make it difficult to climb back into the top group.

“I think, from a safety standpoint, I’ll take the rest of the season off and try to rebuild my strength and try to get my back in a good place and then I’ll make a decision down the road on whether I want to compete next year,” said the father of four daughters. “It would be a shame to go out this way, though.

“I have it in my mind that I’d like to continue next year.”

The three-time Olympian is Canada’s most accomplished alpine ski racer. Guay has reached the World Cup podium on 25 occasions. He was also the 2011 world champion in the downhill.

“It’s definitely disappointing to have Erik miss out on the Olympics and we know this was a difficult decision for him to make,” said Alpine Canada athletic director Martin Rufener. ”He would certainly have been a medal contender if he was healthy.

“Despite Erik missing out, I’m very proud of the contingent of athletes we are sending to the Games and I know we will make Canada proud.”

Canada will send 13 alpine skiers to the Feb. 9-25 Games. There will be Canadian entries in all disciplines, including downhill, super-G, alpine combined, giant slalom, slalom and the team event.

(Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press)

Just Posted

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Crash snarles traffic on Highway 17

Traffic southbound is seriously delayed and northbound down to one lane on… Continue reading

Victoria Police arrest man in relation to indecent act at Beacon Hill Park

The man is known to police, and is facing three charges

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read