Posted 20 months ago
With the biggest races of the season right around the corner, we caught up with Manny to shed some light into the life of a skier racer before he goes full tilt downhill!
Q: Heading into February 2018, there’s a lot on the line, how do you stay composed under the pressure?
Manny: I feel each race there is a lot on the line. A lot goes into a run to make it fast, safe, and rewarding. The Olympics need to be approached exactly the same as World Cup, then cross your fingers.
Q: Where did the nickname “Canadian Cowboys” originate?
Manny: I believe the name was first used when Mike Janyk was second in Beaver Creek (maybe 2006?) and wore a cowboy hat on the podium. Since then we made belt buckles that podium athletes on the team can earn. The mold was lost in a fire so the last of the Canadian Cowboys was Dustin Cook.
Q: Ski racing has a strong culture in Europe, how much does a good crowd impact the race for you personally?
Manny: I love the crowd! When you’re in the start gate there aren’t too many fans but just the business of the whole day can help build for a better run.
Q: What does your pre-race routine look like? Do you have any superstitious practices that help you get your head in the race?
Manny: I like to stick to the same breakfast all week. Most of our days routine changes day after day with so many variables so that is the one routine I like to keep.
Q: With 13 years of National Team Racing, you are one of the most experienced racers on Team Canada. Do you find that your younger team members look to you for mentoring? Do you have a leadership role on the team?
Manny: I would hope that my teammates look up to me. I try very hard to be a role model and to be approachable when they have questions. Since skiing is an individual sport it takes a lot of learning on your own, but having been to all the World Cup venues I try to provide them with some of the secrets I’ve acquired on each track.
Q: Being on the road so much of the year can be hard, especially with your wife and young daughter at home. How do you manage?
Manny: I feel it wouldn’t be possible without FaceTime. My daughter changes daily and it is amazing to notice them through video. As for my wife, we have done it for year and have our routine. It’s not easy but we make it work.
Q: How does it feel to be heading into your 4th Winter Games? What are your personal goals for the PyeongChang Games?
Manny: Each Olympic game is different but the feeling you get from our Country is the same. It is such a privilege to ski for our great nation and I’m extremely proud and fortunate to have been in that position so many times. As in all my Olympic Games, the goal is to bring back hardware!
Q: What is your favourite Panorama run on a powder day?
Manny: A few weeks back I skied Devils drop three times in a row, everyone was traversing farther over and I just kept finding the goods with way less effort! Or was I somewhere else? I’ll keep my stashes a secret.
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