No one except Erik Guay.
So, who is this guy, Guay?
He’s a skier, a Canadian, 35 years old. He, for the last 9 years, has raced downhill and Super-G. He looks 25 – and this despite being the doting dad of three young girls. Heck, his beautiful smile can move mountains. Yet, theoretically, despite his self professed drive and determination; he’s human. The man from Montreal, Quebec who lives in Mont-Tremblant, missed all of the 2015 season. In 2011, however, he won the World Downhill Title.
But he hasn’t missed getting bested by ski courses everywhere. Prior to his stellar, mind-blowing Super-G win in early middle age, a couple of weeks ago, he’d faced, and come back from 6 – SIX - knee injuries.
Nobody does that.
Except Erik Guay.
And let’s put Lindsey Vonn in this special: no-matter-the-harm-no-matter-the-hurt-or-WTF-happenstance...category she, and Erik, are the cream of the crop, that somehow, through perspicacity and a little insanity do magnificently, to us awe-struck observers, forcefully and inevitably, rise to the top. (And, astoundingly he believes he has a cautious approach to skiing. And he credits that trait to having helped him become Canada’s best alpine skier.)
Check out his wipe out in the downhill in the German Bavarian Alps just prior to his Super-G win and his silver in the downhill at St. Moritz.
Still alive? Unbelievable, huh?
And what’s most incredible is his revelation that he’s been ailing with pains and ailments since 2011. That’s 6 years. Most of us wilt after a 2 week cold, never to return to our full form – but this guy?
Ok, so, really, who is this guy?
Nobody knows. Ok, Wikipedia, doesn’t know, or at least - in its listing of oldest professional athletes by sport – doesn’t even cite skiing, let alone slot Erik Guay. That’s how tough, how unusual, how risky, elite alpine skiing is.
And, at 35 years old, Erik Guay is the king of the castle.
Yet Erik’s down to earth. He praised, not surprisingly, his physiotherapist(s) and doctor(s) for getting him back on the straight and narrow path to victory – and most importantly, helping him boost his confidence to find his line, and belief he could win again - after his titanic tumble in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and, he’s probably got a god somewhere to have blessed him with powerful legs, legs that even Canada’s cyclist, Curt Harnett, would respect – all of which factors mattered in his climbing back up the steep slope to stardom in the Super-G.
And he’s erudite, polite, and a great interviewee.
Generally, he probably takes lots of sustenance and surely some succor from his younger brother who coaches him - and from his mom, a ski instructor - and from his dad, a ski coach. So he’s got that going for him as well.
He’s also a team player, attributing his amazing Super-G win on the Team Canada 2017.
Good looking, intelligent, athletic – none come better than he, in Canada – yet he still has to earn a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Olympic champion Nancy Greene of the 1960’s...and the Crazy Canucks of the 70’s - 80’s have that distinction of being the only skiers so honored.
Guay trains with the B2Ten group. OK, factually, he started skiing at 18 months, navigating the Poma lift at Mont-Tremblant. What’s the B2Ten? It’s a force organized back in 2006 by Canadian businesses to spend big bucks (30 million so far) on nurturing Canadian athletes – individually - to help them singularly, realize their dreams, whether they be skiers, rugby players, or high jumpers.
In fact, the only thing missing from Guays’ resume is a medal from the Olympics. Oh, he’s come close, with two fifths and a fourth, but as he points out it’s tough to peak for one race that happens but once every four years and it’s tough not being allowed to practice on the course, and it’s tough not being able to control the weather that day and it’s tough not having a say in your starting slot...He says he values World Cup victories more than Olympic successes. In fact, he called the Olympics “...a Mickey Mouse show.”
Nevertheless, despite his impolitic talk, he’s willing to have another go at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. But, he avers, if he gets but one more knee injury between now and then, he’ll retire.
But no matter how, or when, he retires from skiing, he’ll forever be a champion and an inspiration – that’s what you get when you are the oldest man EVER to win an alpine skiing event.