Date of Birth:  September 17, 1984
 Place of Birth: Calgary, AB
 Residence: Calgary, AB
 Years on National Team:
 Height:  5'9"
 Weight: 176 lbs.

Standing just 5'9", John Kucera is the shortest man on the 2006 Canadian Alpine team. However, ask anyone who knows him and they'll tell you what he lacks in height he more than makes up for in drive and desire.

A member of the national programme since 2004, Kucera spent the majority of the 2004-05 racing campaign on the Nor-Am Cup circuit and enjoyed great success at that level, finishing the year ranked first in both the downhill and super-G.

At the 2005 World Championships in Bormio, Italy, Kucera finished 16th in the downhill and ninth in the combined. Midway through the 2005-06 World Cup season, he has five Top-30 individual results -- three in super-G and two in downhill --, and a season-best 15th-place in the combined at a World Cup event in Val d'Isere, France.

As part of the team's youth movement -- along with Francois Bourque and Manuel Osborne-Paradis; all born in 1984 --, Kucera realizes that his job is to learn from the veterans while he continues to develop. If, as expected, he continues to improve, Kucera could be a key part of an alpine team that many expect to be in the hunt for multiple medals when the Olympics come to Vancouver in 2010.

2006 Alpineskiing Coverage