Duncan para alpine skier Braydon Luscombe earned his first World Cup podium finish on Jan. 27 with a bronze medal in the standing downhill on the first day of a speed series in Tignes, France.
Luscombe placed third in the race with a time of 1:14.50 — 2.8 seconds back of the gold and just a quarter of a second out of the silver position.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Luscombe, who has skied with the senior national team since 2011. “When it first happened, it didn’t really kick in.”
Luscombe’s previous best result in a World Cup event was fifth in the slalom at Sochi, Russia in 2013. Tignes marked his first medal on the tour.
“It has always been a goal of mine,” he said. “I’ve always had it in mind, but I didn’t know what to think when it happened. Standing up on the podium was when it started to sink in.”
Luscombe’s bronze was part of a big day for Canada as the national team earned medals in all three categories — standing, sitting and visually impaired — for the first time since 2002.
“It was a really big day for us,” Luscombe said. “It was the kind of feeling we’ve been going for.”
On the second day of racing at Tignes, Luscombe finished fifth in the downhill, and on the third day, he raced in two super G events, getting a DNF in the first and placing 10th in the second.
Luscombe admitted he didn’t expect to collect his first medal in a speed event, feeling he was better prepared for the technical races.
“It was kind of a surprise, my first medal coming in the downhill,” he said. “I had been training well in the slalom, but I had some bad slalom runs before that.”
Next up for Luscombe are the World Cup finals at Aspen, Colorado in February, with some training at Panorama in the meantime.
“Going into Aspen, I’m really excited about the slalom,” he said.
A top-five result, or another podium finish is the “ultimate goal” for the finals, Luscombe said. The bronze medal from last week is definitely something Luscombe can build on going into Aspen.
“It’s a definite confidence booster,” he said. “Subconsciously, you build a lot of momentum in the back of your mind. You can always jump back to that moment to boost your confidence.”