Biography:

Benjamin Thomsen is a classic case of persevering against the odds thanks to his never-give-up attitude. As a 19-year-old he competed at the 2007 World Junior Championships, but by 20 had been released from the B.C. provincial team due to his poor results. Without a team to support him, Thomsen began working in landscaping and construction, just scraping by to pay his bills. At Vancouver 2010, Thomsen was given a spot as a forerunner. While there he asked Alpine Canada for the chance to race at one of the season-ending World Cups. He made his World Cup debut in March 2010. Thomsen was then permitted to compete on the World Cup circuit in 2010-11, but as an independent he would receive no funding from Alpine Canada. Recognizing Thomsen’s talent, Manuel Osborne-Paradis worked out a deal with his own sponsors to funnel money to Thomsen. In December 2010, Thomsen had a breakthrough 16th place finish in the Val Gardena downhill.

That result, combined with a number of injuries striking the Canadian team, meant Thomsen went from thinking his career might be over to competing at the 2011 World Championships. That spring he was officially added to the national team. Thomsen earned his spot in the Canadian Cowboys club in February 2012 when the World Cup went to Sochi for the Olympic test event. He surprised with a silver medal in the downhill. He posted three other top-10 World Cup downhill results in 2011-12. Since making his Olympic debut at Sochi 2014, Thomsen has posted two more top-10 finishes in World Cup downhills, placing eighth in Saalbach, Austria in February 2015 and in Santa Caterina, Italy in December 2015. Thomsen competed in just three World Cup races during the 2016-17 season after undergoing right knee surgery in the spring of 2016. After eight months of rehab, he was back on snow in November 2016 before returning to competition in January 2017.

PERSONAL

Getting into the Sport: Made his ski racing debut at age five… At 17 was named to the B.C. provincial ski team… Odds and Ends: Knows how to crochet…  Nicknames: Benny Alcott, Black Panther, The Rock Whisperer… Has said he’s never been nervous or scared for a downhill… Admires skier Marco Büchel of Liechtenstein because he is also an adrenaline junkie who just loves ski racing… Likes to collect all of his competition bibs…