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The Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded every December usually amid much controversy to Canada top athlete, amateur or professional.

It only February, but Erik Guay stormed into contention Sunday by winning silver in the men downhill at the 2017 World Alpine Skiing Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

what is the most competitive winter sport, Erik Guay just did the biggest achievement ever period, pronounced Dominick Gauthier, who co founded the B2ten group of silent benefactors who provide money and resources to Canadian Olympic athletes to get them on the podium.

this week performance in St. Moritz, Erik just catapulted himself into the very elite of ski racing history, said Max Gartner, former president of Alpine Canada and a high performance sports consultant. an amazing achievement for a Canadian skier. Sunday, Guay, the most decorated alpine skier in Canadian history, slashed across the finish line just 0.12 seconds behind Switzerland Beat Feuz. Max Franz, of Austria, claimed bronze.

After the race, Guay deflected the credit to his support team thanking everyone from his physiotherapists to his doctors to his coaches. He gushed over the course report he received atop the mountain via telephone from fellow Canadian Manny Osborne Paradis, who won bronze in the super G but settled for 31st in the downhill.

my ski serviceman made my skis rocketships today, Guay said. that was great. at home in Mont Tremblant, Guay wife Karen and the couple three daughters watched the race before dashing off to their own ski lessons.

After six knee surgeries, Guay has said his next major injury will be his last. Dogged over the years by chronic back and knee pain, he is determined to walk away from the high impact sport still able to ski with his kids for years to come.

emotional, for sure, knowing what I been through and knowing what my family been through and just having clawed back from all these injuries, he said. I never lost faith. I knew I had it in me. I know that when I healthy, I can be competitive. That never left me. healthy is a constant challenge in a sport that involves hurling oneself down a slick mountain at speeds exceeding 140 km/hr. So while Guay is considered an early medal favourite for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, the man himself refuses to think that far ahead.

Olympics are a year away and in a year of sport, a lot can happen between now and then, he said. need to take it step by step and focus on these next races and then you start focusing on the off season. credits his training last summer for helping him peak at the world championships. He plans to use the same blueprint in his preparations for South Korea.

Known for his steady, calm demeanour, Guay is philosophical about his two near misses on the Olympic stage. He lost out on the bronze by a mere tenth of a second in the super G at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Four years later, in Vancouver, he posted a pair of agonizing fifth place finishes on home snow.

The super G race proved particularly heartbreaking, with the Canadian stopping the clock just three hundredths of a second back of bronze and six hundredths away from silver.

But with three world championship medals on his resume he also won won the world downhill title in 2011 Guay place in history is already guaranteed.

And while plenty of sporting greatness will no doubt unfold between now and December, Guay is clearly in the conversation for the Lou Marsh.

feel better than I have in the last five, six years, he said. able to run. I able to train. I able to do everything I did back when I was 25 years old.

doesn seem to be a factor right now. Guay silver, Canada tied the record for the most world championship medals in a single year with three a feat also accomplished in 1958 (Lucille Wheeler, two golds and a silver) and a decade later in 1968 (Nancy Greene, two golds and a silver.)

Notes: Snowboarder Sebastien Toutant, of Montreal, won gold Sunday at a World Cup slopestyle stop in Stoneham, Que. Regina Mark McMorris seized silver, a day after locking up the World Cup overall title in big air with a victory over silver medallist Max Parrot, of Bromont. Que. On the women side, Brooke Voigt, of Fort McMurray, Alta, captured bronze in Sunday slopestyle event.

As expected, Canada won a mass start medal Sunday at the World Single Distance championships in long track speed skating.

It just came from a surprise source in Olivier Jean.

Ottawa Ivanie Blondin entered the women race as the reigning champion in the new Olympic discipline. She was charging for a medal when Irene Schouten, of the Netherlands, attempted to pass and fell in front of the Canadian skater.

Blondin slowed down to avoid crashing and settled for 10th place.

so frustrating, because I know I should have been first, Blondin said. stronger than every one of those girls. of Lachenaie, Que., won short track gold in the 5,000 metre relay at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The 32 year old skater switched to long track 16 months ago with an eye to competing in the mass start at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

He collected bronze Sunday behind Joey Mantia, of the United States, and Alexis Contin, of France.
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