This article was originally published on the Alpine Canada website.
Dustin Cook says he has been dreaming of this moment since he was a kid.
The 26-year-old Ottawa native and Mont Ste. Marie ski club racer capped off a tremendous ski season by winning the men’s Super-G at the season-ending Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Meribel on Thursday. Cook’s time of 1:06.04 was five one-hundredths of a second faster than 2nd-place finisher Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, the reigning Olympic Super-G champion.
“I had a really good warmup this morning and it felt amazing. When I saw that it was only one minute six seconds long, I knew we had to charge as that’s a really short Super-G,” says Cook. “I went out of the gate and I really wanted to win. I visualized it last night. I stepped in and I skied some parts really well, I made a couple of mistakes and I left the door open for someone to take the win but charging and making a couple of mistakes is better than skiing easy and slow.”
Cook’s dream season includes Thursday’s victory, a 3rd-place finish in the Super-G in Kvitfjell, Norway and a Silver medal in the Super-G at the World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado. In total, Cook had three podium finishes this season, along with six other top-20 results.
On Thursday, he wore bib number 12 and, following his run, had the agonizing task of watching 13 other skiers try and better his time. Thursday’s World Cup Finals included the top 25 skiers within the Super-G discipline, the best-of-the-best, so Cook’s role following his run wasn’t easy.
“When I came across the finish line in the lead, I was pumped,” he says. “But there were so many guys left that were good, the top guys in the world. Leading at the bottom was harder than skiing,” joked Cook.
Cook finishes the World Cup season ranked 5th in the Super-G. Prior to this season, his top finish in a World Cup race was 12th. To some, he came out of nowhere.
But Cook believed in his abilities and that paid off in spades throughout 2014-15.
“It’s amazing. That was the goal. In my head, I wanted to win really bad. To get the podium feels amazing,” he says.
“I finished the season ranked 5th in Super-G which was the goal after a few good races. To have it actually be accomplished, it’s literally a dream come true, something I have dreamed about since I was a kid. I don’t know how to put it into words … yet.”
Canada’s other competitor on Thursday was North Vancouver’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who finished 16th in a time of 1:06.96. Osborne-Paradis, has also had podium success this season. In the men’s Downhill he finished 2nd in Kvitfjell, Norway, as well as the season starter on home soil in Lake Louise, AB. Overall, Osborne-Paradis ends the season with three top-20 finishes in his last four World Cup races.
FIS World Cup Finals men’s Super-G (Canada’s placements)
Dustin Cook 1:06.04 (1st)
Manuel Osborne-Paradis 1:06.96 (16th)
The World Cup Finals continue on Friday with the team mixed race. Slalom and Giant Slalom races take place over the weekend.