Britt Janyk at home in tough conditions
December 8, 2007
ASPEN ” On a day when most racers were bemoaning the wet snow falling on the Aspen Mountain downhill course, Britt Janyk couldn’t hide a smile.
The 27-year-old Canadian was right at home in Aspen, which, courtesy of an unrelenting snowstorm from the Pacific Northwest, bore an uncanny resemblance to her home resort of Whistler/Blackcomb.
“To be honest, there weren’t really any nerves this morning,” Janyk said Saturday after she skied brilliantly through heavy snow on a tricky, truncated Aspen downhill course to earn her first World Cup win. “I was so excited to race. We had a great morning of powder skiing yesterday, and I feel quite comfortable in these types of conditions. I grew up skiing on the west coast, and these are the kind of conditions that I love.”
So much so that Janyk said she was grinning while slipping the Ruthie’s course during inspection Saturday morning.
Colorado has certainly been good to the Janyk family. Janyk’s younger brother Michael is a member of the Canadian men’s team and earned his first and only World Cup podium last December at Beaver Creek in a slalom.
The younger Janyk tried to reach his sister via cell phone Saturday, but, understandably, she was preoccupied.
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“I heard from him through my mom,” said Janyk, whose cell phone had nine missed calls by the time she found it in her bag, just a few minutes after Saturday’s race was called because of the deteriorating course conditions. “Last year, in Beaver Creek, he put the red bib on for the first time and here I am for the first time in it in Colorado. It’s a lucky spot for the Janyks.”
Janyk’s win Saturday came just a week after her first World Cup podium, a third-place showing in the downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta. It also put her atop the downhill standings, ahead of American Lindsey Vonn.
Vonn was coming off a win at Lake Louise, won both training runs here in Aspen and was the favorite entering Saturday’s race, but struggled in the sloppy course conditions Saturday, finishing fourth.
With two World Cup podiums in two weekends, Janyk said her confidence is as high as its ever been. She optimistically talked about making a run at the World Cup downhill title, even though she finished 26th in last season’s downhill standings.
“Winning a World Cup race is one thing,” she said. “But winning a globe shows consistency. It shows true strength.”