ATHLETE PROFILE: Jan Hudec wins bronze

Jan has gone through seven knee surgeries, so he knows his athletic career can end any second. That’s why he has his plan B already in place.

Canadian alpine skier Jan Hudec has won bronze in super-G, after planting a lucky loonie near the finish line before the race began.

Hudec tied for the third position with American Bode Miller at a time of 1.18.67.

Hudec's medal is the first one for Canada in alpine skiing in 20 years.

He posted a photo to Instagram, showing that he buried a loonie in the snow next to the finish line after his final training run.

Weeks ago, Hudec wasn't even sure he would be able to compete at the Olympics. He herniated a disc in his lower back in January.

That was not his first experience with a serious injuries. Hudec has endured seven knee surgeries, so he knows that any day his career and his dream can come to a sudden stop.

"Every Olympic athlete needs some sort of transition into life after their sport," he says.

His injuries got him thinking about the next stage of his life and accepting that it won't be easy.

"Everyone always dreams and wishes they can be good enough in their relative sport to be able to retire and have fun," he says. "But that's not always the case."

So he has his plan B in place. Last year, Hudec launched a business. He opened an eyeglass store in Calgary.


He has been putting as much effort into the business as he has into his sport, while preparing for Sochi.

"It's become a struggle to balance both."

The juggling act has required a trait that makes him an Olympic athlete - being able to do well under a lot of pressure.

"I thrive on the stress of competition, but in a positive way," he says.

And at least he knows he is prepared for what is for many athletes an uncertain future.

"I didn't want to be an athlete that was just pushing and pushing to the end and then fizzles out... and then struggling to pick up the pieces."

This will be Hudec's second Olympic appearance. He competed in Vancouver in 2010.

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