John Kucera's life is going to change sometime around next November. The new world downhill champion can likely enjoy his win for the next few months before the ADD, hockey blind sports media and public in Canada start to put unbearable pressure on him to win the Winter Games glamour event.
But, come November-ish Kucera is going to learn what it was like to be Donovan Bailey, Perdita Felicien, Ken Read or, especially, Brian Orser. He will become The Great Canadian Hope.
It's likely not fair. Actually it's completely not fair. Kucera is a technical skier, more suited to the super-G than the downhill, but that won't matter. In the Winter Games the men's downhill is the same the men's 100m in the summer circus. And now we have a horse in the race. At home. Bring it.
It's especially not fair because Saturday's win is a wonderful accomplishment. For all the press and hype the Crazy Canucks of the early '80s generated they never won a world title. Kucera is the first. That should be celebrated.
But, man, as a Olympic junkie, passionate Canuck and long-time ski racing fan I gotta say ... seeing a Canadian win the downhill would be awesome. But, no pressure.
Kucera has the work ethic and now the gold (Stephen Brunt, globesports.com)
Kucera's run on Youtube
Canadians need to lose Olympic 'you suck' mentality (Randy Starkman, Toronto Star)