PyeongChang, KOR. (February 18, 2018) – It was another picture perfect day for ski racing at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre where the men’s giant slalom took place under blue skies and crisp temperatures. In his first Olympic Games, Erik Read (Calgary, AB) was the top Canadian finisher after putting down an incredible performance to finish in 11-place.
The snow conditions on the track continued to be impeccable and the extreme winds from previous days settled for today’s race, creating a competitive environment for all racers. The rolling terrain kept the athletes on their toes as they generated speeds over 80km/hr on the giant slalom course.
28yr old Marcel Hirscher (AUT) was the king of the slopes today, winning the gold medal by 1.27sec. This is Hirscher’s second gold medal of the 2018 Games and he finally lands his giant slalom podium at the Olympics after finishing fourth in 2014. The silver medal went to Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), adding to Norway’s alpine skiing medal haul. It was France’s Alexis Pinturault who finished third, adding a bronze medal to his 2018 collection after winning silver in the alpine combined.
26yr old Erik Read attacked the giant slalom track in his first Olympic Games, moving up 11 positions after his first run, to sit in 16th-place, 1.19 seconds off the pace. On his second run, Read charged the course, not holding back and searched for speed from top to bottom, crossing the finish line tied for first with American Ryan Cochran-Siegle. Read co-occupied the leaderbox for several racers, ultimately finishing the day tied for 11th-place after placing 9th in the second run.
I’m happy with today; It’s my best result of the season and the Olympic Games is such a cool atmosphere, so to come in for my debut and get a nice result like that is great,” a very happy Read reported post race. “I’m optimistic about the future; for sure one day I want to stand on an Olympic podium and this is a great stepping stone.”
In his second Winter Olympic Games, 25yr old Trevor Philp (Calgary, AB) finished his first run in 24th-place after skiing a strong run. Philp took advantage of a prime start position in the second run and put down an impassioned performance, crossing the finish line with the green light. After sitting in the leaderbox for a few racers, Philp ended up finishing in 18th position.
“I gave myself a bit of a challenge after first run and was a little further back than I wanted, so second run had to go out there and push everywhere,” said a happy Philp after the race. “At the end, it was a good run and I am happy I was able to move up a bit.”
26yr old Phil Brown (Toronto, ON) moved up 10 positions after his first run, finishing in 25th-place, just after teammate Philp. In his second Olympics, Brown approached the giant slalom competition focused and ready to compete, finishing in 27th-place. “It was fun to be competing in the second run in a position where I could have made a move. I just wish there was more I could have done,” said a disappointed Brown post race.
Jack Crawford (Toronto, ON) took to the giant slalom event after kicking off his Olympic debut in the alpine combined earlier this week. 20yr old Crawford just missed the second run flip, finishing his first run in 31st position and moving up 10 positions. In his second run, Crawford gave it his all and crossed the finish line in 29th-place. “I’m much happier with my second run, even with a big mistake halfway down, the time doesn’t reflect the skiing but I feel like it’s a good way to end the Games moving into the NorAms coming up next week,” said Crawford after his first Olympic Games. “Hopefully the NorAms go a little better with the results, but definitely won’t be as fun!”
Top 5 results:
Gold – Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
Silver – Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR)
Bronze – Alexis Pinturault (FRA)
4 – Zan Kranjec (SLO)
5 – Thomas Fanara (FRA)
Canadian men’s giant slalom results
11 – Erik Read
18 – Trevor Philp
27 – Phil Brown
28 – James (Jack) Crawford
Full results here.
Next alpine event will be the ladies downhill – catch it live on Olympics.CBC.ca at 9:00pm EST.
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