Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Dustin Cook Caps Breakout Ski Season with World Cup Victory

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Dustin Cook Caps Breakout Ski Season with World Cup Victory

Article excerpt

Cook caps breakout season with World Cup win

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At a crossroads just a few months ago, Canada's Dustin Cook proved to himself that ski racing is exactly what he should be doing with his life.

Cook capped a breakout season by winning the men's super-G Thursday at the season-ending World Cup finals in Meribel, France. The top 25 skiers in each discipline qualified for the finals.

Among the men Cook beat for his first career victory was runner-up Kjetil Jansrud. The Norwegian claimed the season's overall super-G title.

"I absolutely went into today wanting to win," Cook told reporters on a conference call. "It just really kind of eases my mind that this is what I really should and want to be doing for as long as I can."

Cook finished .05 seconds ahead of Jansrud, the reigning Olympic super-G champion. Roger Brice of France was .08 behind in third.

Cook had never finished in the top 10 in a World Cup when he won a surprise silver in super-G at the world championship Feb. 5 in Vail, Colo. He backed up that result with a World Cup bronze March 8 in Kvitfjell, Norway.

The 26-year-old grew up in Ottawa and now lives in Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que.

After finishing outside the top 30 in most of his 2013-14 races, Cook wondered aloud to a friend last summer what his future was in his sport.

"I don't think I was actually that close to retiring, but I was at the point where I was questioning what I should be doing," Cook recalled

"We were having a couple of beers. I said 'I'm having second thoughts about this. I'm not really sure I want to keep doing this.' He said 'You've got to give yourself that chance because you've been doing it for so long. Just give yourself that opportunity.'

"The question that struck me the most was: 'What else are you going to do?'"

Super-G combines the turns of giant slalom with open sections of terrain for speed. Cook races downhill, but excels in both giant slalom and super-G.

"They're one of the most challenging types of athletes to manage just because of the training environments required for both of those disciplines are quite different," Alpine Canada vice-president Paul Kristofic said. …

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