Just like in men's figure skating, the Canadian alpine ski team has been cursed with burdensome expectations thanks to strong World Cup results but poor Olympic finishes. No Canadian has won a medal in the sport since Ed Podivinsky in 1994, and despite strong seasons, the Canadians were coming into the Olympics on a bit of a down note with two top skiers Jan Hudec and Erik Guay suffering injuries in January. Guay's knee problems forced the prospective medallist into settling for 10th place in the downhill earlier in the week.
[Photos: What Canada did on Day 9]
Thankfully, a Canadian Olympic custom implies one can literally buy luck. Hudec, born in Czechoslovakia but raised in Calgary, planted the traditional "lucky loonie" in the snow next to the finish line right after his final training run, posting a photo of his handiwork to his Instagram account. The legend of the lucky loonie began in Salt Lake City with the one dollar coin being planted at centre ice of the hockey venue, which apparently played a role in spurring the Canadian men's hockey team onto its first gold medal in 50 years.
Preparation met skill for Hudec on Sunday morning on the slopes, earning a shared bronze medal with American Bode Miller with a time of 1:18.67, a little over a half second off the pace set by Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud, who took gold.Read More »from Jan Hudec buries lucky loonie into finish line, wins Olympic bronze medal