A gold medal to …

Larisa Yurkiw is trying to secure a spot at the Olympic Games in Russia in February. (James Masters The Sun Times)

 James Masters, Owen Sound Sun Times

SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 12) – Larisa Yurkiw’s Olympic debut did not follow the Hollywood storyline she’d written so far.

The 25-year-old finished 20th on Wednesday in the women’s downhill at the Sochi Olympics.

Yurkiw didn’t challenge in this race, losing time throughout the race to eventual winners – Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin and Slovenia’s Tina Maze who tied for gold with identical 1:41.57 times. That’s an Olympic alpine first.

“It is a little disappointing,” Yurkiw told the CBC following the race on Wednesday morning.

“I really believe in today, more than most races this season. It’s nerve wracking to know you can do it, you know?”

Sochi’s women’s downhill course is one of the most difficult Yurkiw has faced this season.

“It’s the Olympic downhill … it has to suit you,” Yurkiw said. “It was a little rugged in places but I also didn’t handle myself as well as I’d hoped in most places. You definitely had to have a bit of hair on your chest for today.”

Yurkiw will wrap up her Olympic competition on Saturday in the Super G.

Yurkiw’s story is one straight from a Hollywood script.

After missing out on Vancouver due to a major knee injury in 2010, Yurkiw was off skis for almost two years before returning to competition.

She won the 2013 Canadian downhill championship but was dropped from the national team by Alpine Canada.

Yurkiw raised $150,000 over the summer to compete as an independent and then sewed up a trip to Sochi with a top-10 finish just weeks before the Olympics.

Yurkiw crashed in a training run last week, suffering a slightly sprained ankle that kept her out of Monday’s Super Combined.

Owen Sound Sun Times

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Filed under Athletes, Olympics - Sochi

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