Viviane Forest continues her spectacular ascension to the top of para-alpine skiing. The 30-year-old Edmonton resident who was born and raised in Quebec achieved her big goal last Sunday of medaling in both the Summer and the Winter Paralympic Games when she won Canada’s second medal. She won silver in women’s visually impaired alpine skiing category in slalom, with the help of her guide, Lindsay Debou of Whistler, B.C. Forest and Debou took the silver medal, finishing in 2:01.45, taking just over a second longer than Austria’s Sabine Gasteiger, who won the race, crossing the finish line at 2:00.56.
Viviane Forest already has two gold medals from goal ball in the 2000 and 2004 Sumer Games. Forest medaled in the race despite being in pain from a groin she pulled in training two weeks prior to the event. The pain could not dull the happiness she felt from winning her first Winter Paralympic medal, although it did make the race more difficult for her. “I tried not to focus on the pain and just make my way down,“ said Viviane Forest. “I was afraid of the last section. I had no gas. I was in so much pain. I was afraid to miss a gate and not finish. But it did go well. That’s what matters.“
Viviane Forest and Debou are scheduled to ski in four more events; women’s Super G, Super Combined Downhill, Super Combined Slalom and the Giant Slalom, as well as women’s Downhill which was postponed due to the fog. Forest’s big goal for these Winter Paralympic Games in Canada is to win at least one gold medal, and to make it to the podium in every race. It would’t be a surprise: In her first year on the World Cup, 2009, Forest won five crystal globes. She was number one in all events except the slalom.
Viviane Forest, who was the overall World Cup champion last year, as well as winning five medals at the world championships in South Korea, claims: “The pressure is off. Weve got a piece of the Games to bring home.“ Stephanie Gustin, 17 years