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

Teskey, Freeman rinks sweep to bonspiel titles

Ten men’s teams and six women’s teams were in action throughout the weekend.

River Kings upend Stamps to be crowned CIHL champs

The Terrace River Kings are the Central Interior Hockey League champions.

Cool and crisp, but it’s blue sky and sunshine in the Cariboo

Blue sky above and sunshine beaming down is creating a beautiful day outside Sunday in the Cariboo.

Snowbank snowman

A skiing snowman, stuck in a snowbank?

Female T-wolves blank Dawson Creek Predators in first of three-game set

The Williams Lake Midget Female Timberwolves shutout the Dawson Creek Predators 4-0 Saturday.

Resident’s love of bowling passed on to great granddaughter

A passion for bowling for a Williams Lake resident is being passed down to his great grandaughter.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Most Read