CRAWFORD EARNS CANADA’S FIRST EVER OLYMPIC MEDAL IN THE MEN’S ALPINE COMBINED
Yanqing Alpine Venue, China (February 11, 2022) – After narrowly missing the podium with a heart-breaking 4th place in the men’s Olympic downhill and skiing into 6th place in the super G earlier this week, Toronto’s Jack Crawford will be leaving these Games with a well-deserved Olympic bronze medal earned in the Alpine Combined. It’s the first time a Canadian earns a medal in the discipline in the Games’ 86 years of history. This is also Crawford’s first podium ever at a major event.
“At the Olympics, a medal is everything,” tells Crawford, a two-time Olympian who is no stranger to the Alpine combined having finished 4th in the discipline at the 2021 World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA. “I feel relief. I’ve been searching for a podium on the World Cup circuit for so long, and I knew it was around the corner. Today things finally all came together.”
The Alpine combined is the ultimate test of ski racing versatility with a full downhill run in the morning followed by a slalom run in the afternoon. The event made its Olympic debut in 1936 at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games.
Crawford, 24-year-old, charged the downhill run with flawless turns from top to bottom of The Rock course, showing why he is one of the tour’s top threats in the discipline. Wearing bib 11, he clocked the 2nd fastest time of the morning, only 0.02 behind Norway’s dominant Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Trading the long boards for his short skis, Crawford skied an equally impressive and clean slalom run in the afternoon, crossing the finish line with a cumulative time of 2:32.11, holding on to 2nd place and only 0.09 behind Kilde.
Crawford’s ranking held up until Austria’s Johannes Strolz skied the fastest slalom run of the day, after finishing fourth in the downhill. Strolz moved up into first with a cumulative time of 2:31.43, bumping Crawford into third as he anxiously waited for the remaining racers, ensuring his result would hold for Canada’s historic medal.
“My skiing has been on point this season, and I knew I had a solid run in the downhill. To come into the finish behind Alex and have a lot of strong skiers left to race was hard to wait through after being pushed out of third in the downhill” said Crawford. “To sit in third and have it sink in was an amazing feeling”.
Today marks only the fourth Olympic medal won by a Canadian in a men’s alpine skiing event, putting Crawford in a elite club alongside Steve Podborski (Bronze - Lake Placid, 1980), Edi Podivinsky (Bronze – Lillehammer, 1994) and Jan Hudec (bronze – Sochi, 2014).
Canada had more reasons to celebrate today with 27-year-old Broderick Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) placing 8th, 2.77 off the pace. He was followed immediately by Brodie Seger (North Vancouver, B.C.) who was 9th 3.60 off the winning time. Austria and Canada were the only two nations to place three skiers in the top 9 in this Olympic race. Seger, wasn’t originally planning to compete in the Alpine combined but decided to do so to gain extra downhill points.
Team veteran Trevor Philp (Calgary, AB) skied the downhill with confidence until a costly mistake three quarters of the way down, putting him in 19th place. Hoping to put his slalom skills to good use to move up, he put it all on the line for the afternoon event but skied out after missing a gate. Philp is Canada’s skier set to compete in the greatest number of events after racing in the super G and now still having medal opportunities in the men’s giant slalom, slalom, and team event.
Tomorrow, the women will compete in the Olympic Super G with Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac Etchemin, QC) and Roni Remme (Collingwood, ON) charging for gold.
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