CALGARY -- John Kuceras career was shorter than he wanted but he leaves alpine ski racing knowing he achieved two firsts for Canada. Don Zimmer Jersey . The first Canadian man to win a world downhill championship and the Canadian skier to stand atop the World Cup podium in Lake Louise, Alta., announced his retirement from ski racing Thursday. Kucera won the mens downhill title in Val-dIsere, France, in 2009. He earned three career World Cup medals in super-G, including gold in Lake Louise in 2006. Im just really proud I managed to take a very short career and do big things with it, the 29-year-old Calgarian said at Alpine Canadas headquarters in his hometown. It was a great ride. It really was. I did some things in this country that I was the first to do and Im really proud of that. Kuceras first four years on the national team were successful and promising. But a broken leg followed by a frustrating inner ear condition sidelined him for four of the last five seasons and also kept him from competing in two Winter Olympics. Vestibular neuritis -- an inner ear condition causing dizziness and nausea -- struck during a training camp in Chile last September and made it impossible to race through gates at 130 kilometres per hour. Kucera wasnt able to get back on skis to race at the Winter Games in Sochi in February. The symptoms still linger and the uncertainty over how long theyll remain, combined with an opportunity to join the coaching staff of the national development team, steered Kucera towards retirement. Truth be told, Im not 100 per cent yet, he said. I think my body just told me it was time to start doing something else. This vestibular neuritis is tough because there is no time line. I could be good by July, but I could be good by next July and really, nobody can give me that answer. Who wouldve thought the thing that would have finally took me out was waking up dizzy one morning? Super giant slalom, or super-G, is shorter than downhill but there are more gates on the course. The discipline requires a combination of speed and technical ability. At five foot nine and 185 pounds, Kucera wasnt as beefy as the top downhill racers early in his career, so he excelled in super-G. But on Feb. 7, 2009, he bested such heavyweights as Hermann Maier of Austria, Didier Cuche of Switzerland, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and American Bode Miller to win on Val-dIseres difficult slope. Val-dIsere was a course that obviously played into a lot of my strengths, very technical, very steep, Kucera recalled. That being said, I felt like every year I was becoming a better and better downhiller. I just hit the right track, the right conditions and the right time of my career to become a champion there. Kucera was the first Canadian to win in 26 years of World Cup racing at Lake Louise when he captured super-G gold in 2006. He drew the No. 1 start bib, so after crossing the finish line, the 22-year-old stood nervously in front of television cameras watching as skier after skier came down the mountain. I remember being really cold. I think it was -35 C that day, Kucera said. Coming down, having that great run, freezing, watching a lot of the people I looked up to growing up and me beating them, it was pretty exciting. Kucera dedicated that victory to his former coach and friend, Jason Lapierre, who was hit by a car while biking and died earlier that year. Kuceras successes coincided with those of teammates Erik Guay, Manny Osborne-Paradis and Jan Hudec. The Canadian Cowboys have given the national mens downhill team depth it hasnt had since Steve Podborski and Ken Read headlined the Crazy Canucks of the 1980s. Guay won the mens downhill title again for Canada in 2011, while Hudec took silver in 2007. Guay passed Podborski as Canadas most decorated World Cup racer with 22 career medals. Guay also won the overall super-G title in 2010. Osborne-Paradis collected nine World Cup medals, including three gold, between 2006 and 2010. Hudec tied for third and won Olympic bronze in super-G in Sochi. As a group, now with Jans medal at the Olympics, weve really done it all, Kucera said. The only thing I guess you could say we havent done is we dont have an Olympic champion yet. As a group, we pulled off some special things. Weve kind of superceded the Crazy Canuck era and did something great. Weve set the bar pretty high for the next group coming up, but I think thats where it needs to be. Kucera won two World Cup medals at Lake Louise -- he took silver there in 2008 -- but the mountain was disastrous for him in the first race of 2009-10. He badly broke his left leg in the super-G and erased his chance to race in Whistler, B.C., at the 2010 Winter Games. Rehabilitation and subsequent setbacks kept him off his race skis for the next three seasons. Obviously the last four years hadnt gone exactly gone the way I would have liked them to, but that being said, I felt the time was right to step away now, Kucera said. Ive had a good run as an athlete. Im walking away relatively healthy. Thats a good thing. Im excited and passionate about the next group, the guys Im going to be working with because Im going to be working with a pretty exciting group of 17- to 19-year-olds. Kuceras parents, Jan and Zdena, emigrated to Canada from the former Czechoslovakia in the early 1980s before John was born. Jan worked with the ski patrol at nearby Nakiska. John and his brother James began skiing at an early age. Avisail Garcia Rays Jersey . Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres came to an agreement on a big trade that may only offer incremental improvement to the Blues in their quest for a Stanley Cup. Yandy Diaz Rays Jersey . Globo TV and other news outlets said early Monday that Scolari will not remain as coach after the national teams failure to win the World Cup at home. https://www.cheapraysonline.com/1216i-nick-anderson-jersey-rays.html . Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Fiorentina levelled on aggregate in the 14th minute when Joaquin Sanchez Rodriguez headed back a long ball from David Pizarro and Pasqual smashed home an angled volley.DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Roger Federer won a record sixth Dubai Championships -- and 78th career title -- by beating Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Saturday. Federer, who maintains a home in Dubai, delighted a packed stadium of fans who seemed biased for the Swiss in back-to-back wins over Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and Berdych. "Things definitely went my way out here tonight," Federer said. "Ive had a lot of tough matches in the last year and a half so it was nice to get a lucky break again." The victory was hard fought as Federer lost the first serve and his serve in the second to trail 3-2. Federers win, his sixth here in the last 12 years, extends his record of winning at least one title a year to 14 consecutive years. This is Federers first tournament victory since winning in Halle, his only title of 2013, last spring. Federer improved his record over Berdych to 12-6 with the win. The last time they played, however, Berdych beat Federer in the Dubai semifinals last year. "Hes the greatest player of all time and hell never give up and give you anything for free," Berdych said. "I knew that and thought I was ready for it, but my execution wasnt good enough to hold it to the end." The loss ended Berdychs longest winning streak of his career at 11 matches. In the firstt set, the fourth-seeded Federers forehand looked shaky and he appeared a step slow. Joe Maddon Rays Jersey. After exchanging early service breaks, the third-seeded Berdych snared the go-ahead break in the sixth game. On a second break point at 30-40, Federer netted a backhand to lose serve. In the second set, there was another early exchange of breaks. From 4-4, Federer won the final eight points of the set to even the set score. "Everything happens very, very quickly and I was looking for better serving because thats what let me down the most in the beginning, getting broken three times in five, six service games," Federer said. Both players had break opportunities in the first two games of the third set -- Berdych three and Federer one -- but each held. Federer secured his way to victory when he broke Berdych on a second break point in the fourth game. The Swiss faced two break points on his serve in the seventh game but held on for 5-2. Berdych was able to save two Federer match points on his own serve in the eighth game. But the Czech couldnt stop Federer from serving out. On Federers third match point at 40-15 in the ninth game, Berdych netted a backhand return. "The match started pretty well and I had many chances," Berdych said. "Its very disappointing for me the way I handled that situation." ' ' '