It was in Sochi, after all, where Hudec broke Canada’s 20-year alpine skiing podium drought when he barrelled across the finish line and claimed a bronze medal in the super-G.


Hudec, though, doesn’t want his entire career to be defined by that moment. There were too many ups and downs, too many teammates and coaches who helped him along the way and, unfortunately, too many injuries that would have ended a weaker man’s career.


“Sochi was probably the crowning point, but before Sochi happened, I didn’t know it would happen. I hoped but never knew,” Hudec said. “Before that, I did have similar moments. At the world championships when I was 21 and (teammate Erik Guay) and I were there for our first races, there was the world championships in 2007 (where I won silver in the downhill), and nobody expected that. It probably is possible (to put it all into words), but it would be a really long book. A tragi-comedy, but I’m extremely grateful for everything.”


Hudec, a Calgarian, is leaving competitive skiing with a resume that puts him among the greatest Canadians ever to compete in the sport. There was the Olympic bronze, of course, the world championship silver and five World Cup medals, including a gold in 2007 at Lake Louise, about as close to a hometown race as an Albertan was likely to get.


There were also injuries, though. So many injuries. Hudec had 14 surgeries throughout his career and will need more now that his career is over. On some level, it felt like a miracle that he even competed for Canada in Sochi, and the fact that he managed to make it to this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang is, frankly, astounding.


Source: www.calgarysun.com