Canadian skier Michael Janyk ends career in style
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Michael Janyk’s last World Cup race went so well, he almost had to postpone his retirement for a week.
The Canadian slalom skier was 2.67 seconds off on Sunday before clocking the fastest second-run time and finishing in 15th.
The result left him seven slalom ranking points short of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, where only the top-25 racers of each discipline are allowed to start.
“That was amazing. It was so much fun that last run,” Janyk told The Associated Press. “I wanted to finish with that enjoyment, that feeling, and that was exactly what it was.”
The Whistler native, who turns 32 later this month and whose older sister Britt Janyk competed on the women’s World Cup circuit until 2011, announced his retirement from World Cup ski racing earlier this week.
“I had a break at home before the Olympics and I just knew it was time,” Janyk was quoted in a statement from the Canadian ski federation. “I don’t feel like I made the decision, it was just so clear it was the right time.”
On Sunday, Janyk said he was “happy this is my last season” but admitted to feeling anxious before his last race.
“It was not easy, I was a mess until a minute before I started,” Janyk said. “And then it just went clear, and I was like, this is fun. When you have other thoughts on your mind of what you want to do than you don’t have that same fire.”
A three-time Olympian, Janyk failed to win a major race in his career but he took bronze at the 2009 world championships in Val d’Isere, France. His best World Cup result was placing second in a slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., eight years ago.
“It’s been incredibly freeing but I’ve also been riding a wave of emotions,” Janyk said about his decision to quit. “I’ve been so blessed to live my dream as a World Cup skier.”
Janyk said he has no clear plans for the future but was intending to keep working for the Mike and Manny Foundation he set up with fellow Canadian skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis and which stages ski camps for children.
The Canadian national championships later this month, where Janyk competes as a four-time slalom champion, will be his last competitive race.