Goggia completes Lake Louise sweep with super-G win, joins Vonn, Seizinger

“This is something I couldn’t do last season because I wasn’t able to switch properly,” Goggia said. “Today is the best victory for sure of these three days.”

Her margins of victory in the downhills were gaudy, but Goggia edged reigning world super-G champion Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland by just 11 hundredths of a second on the 1.8-kilometre course.

Goggia pushed out of the start hut after Gut-Behrami and was off the Swiss woman’s pace until the closing stretch. Goggia charged to the line and let out a roar in the finish corral.

 “When I saw the green light today, it was an explosion in my heart because I really didn’t believe I could have done this,” Goggia said. 

“Today is really one of my best victories ever because I made really a change from the downhill to the super-G, and this is the first time I could make this.” 

Mirjam Puchner of Austria was third after also finishing third in Friday’s season-opening downhill for the women. Sunday’s race was held under partly sunny skies, but a chilly breeze off the mountain made the temperature feel like minus-13 C.

Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., tied for ninth Sunday.

“I had too many mistakes to be on the podium,” Gagnon said. “All in all, I am happy. I know what I need to have the podium. If I can get it all together and kind of nail the line, with this attitude, then I think really great results will come. This was a good one today.”

The Canadian was 16th in Friday’s downhill before placing ninth Saturday. The 32-year-old’s two top-10 results were her career best in Lake Louise.

“If I compare it to other years when I was in Lake Louise, it’s so much better,” Gagnon said. “I’m so much more consistent, solid. It’s a solid start to the year knowing that with a huge mistake on the first day, I was at the worst, 16th.”

After her race Sunday, Gagnon tossed Alpine Canada tuques over her head like wedding bouquets into the outstretched arms of young skiers calling her name from outside the finish corral.

Gut-Behrami salvaged a World Cup in which she finished outside the top 15 in both downhills with Sunday’s top-three result.

“Super-G is always something different for me,” she said. “In downhill, I never found the right key to be fast in Lake Louise. I’m at least happy that today I was able for one minute to ski great.”

Toronto’s Candace Crawford placed 36th, Roni Remme of Collingwood, Ont., was 39th, Stefanie Fleckenstein of Whistler, B.C., finished 41st and Katrina Van Soest of Vernon, B.C., was 42nd.

The women head to St. Moritz, Switzerland for super-G races Saturday and Sunday.

They completed their three races in Lake Louise unlike the men, who raced just a single downhill Nov. 27 because too much snow cancelled a second downhill and the super-G.

Each World Cup race in Lake Louise offered a prize purse of 120,000 Swiss francs (C$167,000) split between the top 30 finishers. Goggia collected a winner’s 45,000 Swiss francs (C$62,000) for each victory.

The men’s and women’s World Cups last year at the resort in Banff National Park were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press