Bio

photo courtesy, My Filosophy and Timeless Edge Photography

Height: 6’0″ / 184 cm
Weight: 205 lbs / 91 kg
Birth date: 1981/08/19 in Sumperk, CZE
Residence: Calgary, AB
Club: Banff Ski Academy/Banff Alpine Racers
Skis: Rossignol
Bindings: Rossignol
Boots: Rossignol
Poles: Komperdell
Helmet & Goggles: Dainese
Headgear Sponsor: Blue Goose

 

 

Hudec made history in 2014 when he became the first Canadian in 20 years to win an alpine Olympic medal after tying for bronze in the super-G in Sochi, Russia. One of the world’s most naturally gifted racers, Hudec has a unique personal story that begins with his family fleeing their Czech homeland in a boat when he was a young child. After spending time in a West German refugee camp, the Hudecs eventually settled in Alberta. Hudec’s ski career is a testament to his perseverance, having fought back from multiple major knee surgeries and other serious injuries. Nicknamed Panda, he became the first Canadian to win the Lake Louise World Cup downhill in 2009. He also claimed a world championship silver medal that year.

Jan was born in Sumperk, Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) in 1981. After leaving in 1982, his family arrived in Germany, where they spent 4 and a half years, until finally arriving in Canada in 1986. While living in Germany, Jan attended kindergarten, and started both tennis and skiing. Every weekend his parents would pack into the car and drive to Austria to ski. (Not a bad place to get a skiing foundation)

Jan’s mother, (Vladi) was a cross country skier and father (Jan sr.) was a downhiller, so it is obvious which genes fell where. Eventually Vladi had to convert to keep up with our lifestyle. After watching his father race the “masters” series in those days and skiing around with the juniors that he coached, Jan found himself knowing that he would be a ski racer.

Arriving in Canada in ’86, there were expectation of huge mountains and forests, only to find the family moving to Red Deer, Alberta for Jan Sr. to pursue a coaching position with the local club. As it turns out, the hill was great, and at 5 years of age everything was big! It turned out to be a wonderful place and the family met some of their best friends there. In 1989, Jan’s wish came true and he was surprised with a baby brother! Another surprise cam as Jan was able to name his younger brother, Phil. Of course with skiing in the family blood, Phil became a great skier as well. He does Free-ride, big air, slope style, big mountain, and his specialty Skiercross. Not liking the spandex a racer would have to wear, he grew his hair long and put on twin tips. Phil is very talented and to this date still scares older brother Jan when doing his thing.

In ’93 the whole family became members at “Word of Life Church” in Red Deer. The same year both of Jan’s parents received offers to work in Banff at the Mountain Ski Academy, which was an amazing opportunity for them but especially for Jan and Phil. Jan spent ten years in Banff, developing as a racer and as a student. The school allowed the students to travel more and train on flexible schedules. And a lot of what Jan has accomplished has been thanks to those years and opportunities in the Bow Valley.

In 2002, Jan moved to Calgary to pursue his Dryland training. Although his heart is still in the mountains, Calgary is truly the best city in Canada. Jan’s parents and brother still live in the Bow Valley.

Career Highlights:

  • 2007 World Championship Downhill Silver Medallist
  • 2 time World Cup Downhill Winner
  • 4 – World Cup Podiums
  • 2010 Olympian

World Rankings:

  • Overall – 16
  • Downhill – 9
  • Super-G – 6
  • Giant Slalom – 126 :)
  • Slalom – 1813 :(