The U.S. guys made short work of
this one — but not in the way they
wanted. As rain soaked the chemi-cal-laden course, racers were going
on all cylinders for their final Olympic race and with all the risk being
put into the mix, the first run of the
slalom met with one of the longest
DNF lists ever — 40 racers in total
crashing or missing gates.
Sadly, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller
were among them.
Ligety, getting bounced around in
the bunchy snow in the wide line,
was almost a second off the pace
when he just couldn’t hold it down
coming into a hairpin and straddled.
“I made a mistake off the top,” said Ligety. “I was pushing hard on that next face. There was a fast little hairpin, I
was carrying too much heat to make it cleanly.”
Though he was disappointed in his Olympic Winter Games, Ligety was already looking forward to the last two
weeks of World Cup racing, where he planned to secure what could very easily be his second straight GS title.
“I have a pretty good chance of wrapping that up, so we’ll see,” he said.
Next came Miller, and he was literally seconds out of the start house cutting a very tight line when he slid right over
one of the first few gates and was done.
“It’s unfortunate to make a mistake so early in the course before you even get a rhythm for it, but that’s the way
slalom goes,” Miller said, adding that he still “couldn’t be happier” about his Olympic performance. “When you take
risks in slalom, you don’t really take them from the bottom half,” he said. “You take them from the first gate and if you
don’t, you can give away a tenth of a second on the first two gates. You’ve gotta be willing to go out and pound through
the first gates 100 percent. It’s a bummer when it doesn’t work.”
Jimmy Cochran, having just returned to Whistler three days before the slalom following a window of training after
the Opening Ceremony, was hopping through the first half of the course like a champ, then bounced askew and slid
through the tricky hairpin backwards, coming to a complete stop before continuing.
Last season’s World Junior slalom bronze medalist, Nolan Kasper, came into the Games with World Cup points
from Schladming and Kitzbuehel along with five NorAm podiums. Wearing bib No. 46, he finished 24th.
The king of the day and of the
Olympic tight gates was Giulia-no Razzoli, who, with his buddy
Alberto Tomba to cheer him on,
got Italy’s first Olympic gold in
alpine skiing. Narrowly missing
the gold, Ivica Kostelic came in
for his second medal of these
Games with the silver 0.16 seconds back and then Sweden’s
Andre Myhrer got the bronze,
And just like that, it was all
done. It didn’t end as fantastically as it started but U.S. alpine
skiers brought home a new record of eight — count ‘em, eight
— medals. Wow.
Andre Myhrer of Sweden
took the slalom bronze.
Jimmy Cochran had mastered the top of the
slalom course before he bounced askew.
Gold: Didier Defago (SUI), 1: 54. 31
Silver: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1: 54. 38
Bronze: Bode Miller (USA) 1: 54. 40
Men’s Super G
Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1: 30. 34
Silver: Bode Miller (USA) 1: 30. 62
Bronze: Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 1: 30. 65
Men’s Super Combined
Gold: Bode Miller (USA) 2: 44.92
Silver: Ivica Kostelic (CRO) 2: 45. 25
Bronze: Silvan Zurbriggen (SUI) 2: 45. 32
Men’s Giant Slalom
Gold: Carlo Janka (SUI) 2:37.83
Silver: Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 2: 38. 22
Bronze: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 2: 38. 44
Gold: Guiliano Razzoli (ITA) 1: 39. 32
Silver: Ivica Kostelic (CRO) 1: 39. 48
Bronze: Andre Myhrer (SWE) 1: 39.76
Gold: Lindsey Vonn (USA) 1: 44. 19
Silver: Julia Mancuso (USA) 1: 44.75
Bronze: Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1: 45. 65
Gold: Maria Riesch (GER) 1: 42.89
Silver: Marlies Schild (AUT) 1: 43. 32
Bronze: Sarka Zahrobska (CZE) 1: 43.90
Women’s Giant Slalom
Gold: Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 2: 27. 11
Silver: Tina Maze (SLO) 2: 27. 15
Bronze: Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 2: 27. 25
Women’s Super G
Gold: Andrea Fischbacher (AUT) 1: 20. 14
Silver: Tina Maze (SLO) 1: 20. 63
Bronze: Lindsey Vonn (USA) 1: 20.88
Women’s Super Combined
Gold: Maria Riesch (GER) 2:09.14
Silver: Julia Mancuso (USA) 2: 10.08
Bronze: Anja Paerson (SWE) 2: 10. 19