MEN’S ALPINE COMBINED KICKS OFF 2018 OLYMPIC GAMES FOR ALPINE CANADA

MEN’S ALPINE COMBINED KICKS OFF 2018 OLYMPIC GAMES FOR ALPINE CANADA

Photo Caption Canadian Press

PyeongChang, KOR. (February 13, 2018) – Today marks the first alpine skiing medal event to take place at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games with the men’s alpine combined kicking off at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.  After postponements of the men’s downhill and ladies giant slalom due to extreme winds, everyone was excited to get this event underway.

Due to the persistent winds, the downhill start was lowered to the super-G start, as well as adjusting the track to use the ‘wind line’, which is an alternative route taken by the athletes to make the jumps smaller and safer when it’s windy. The snow conditions and track surface were perfect for both the downhill and slalom runs, allowing athlete’s to take risks from top to bottom.

In his first Olympics, James (Jack) Crawford from Toronto, ON led the Canadian contingent, finishing the downhill portion in 37th-place. Hungry to gain further ‘big show’ experience, Crawford put down a solid slalom run, moving up 17 positions to finish his first Olympic event in 20th-place. Crawford is a strong leader of the next generation of alpine ski racers, having six top five finishes at the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Championships and showcasing he’s one to watch in the future.

“I’m not super happy with my downhill run today, but I managed to come out and hold my own in the slalom,” said Crawford of his race today.  “I had a few mistakes here and there, but other than the mistakes it was pretty good.”

Broderick Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) also kicked out of the gate at his first Winter Olympic Games, finishing the downhill run in 33rd position.  After a solid slalom run, Thompson moved up 10 positions to finish in 23rd-place. Thompson is no stranger to alpine combined competition on the World Cup circuit, recently finishing in eight-place at Bormio (ITA) this season.  Thompson will be looking to use today’s race to build momentum for the upcoming men’s downhill on February 15th.

Post race, Thompson reported, “I wish I could have put together a better downhill run to set me up better for the slalom.  The slalom was tough but it went ok.”  Looking ahead, Thompson noted, “ As much mileage you can get on the course the better, so I look forward to a couple more runs.”

Marcel Hirscher (AUT) was crowned Olympic champion in alpine combined, bringing home the gold medal with a time of 2:06.52.  Hirscher finished the downhill leg in 12th-place and used his slalom prowess to move through the field to capture his first Olympic Gold medal. Alexis Pintaurault (FRA) claimed the Silver medal, just 0.23 seconds back from Hirscher, moving up eight positions after the downhill leg.  Fellow Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA) used his slalom expertise to win the Bronze, moving up 26 positions after the downhill to win his first ever Olympic medal.

Benjamin Thomsen (Invermere, B.C.) wore bib number 64 and took advantage of another run on the downhill track.  Thomsen finished in 26th-place in the downhill leg but didn’t start the slalom due to a tweaked knee during his run. Teammate Manny Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver, B.C.) started with bib number 65 and pushed hard out of the gate but a direct line caused a missed gate, ending the run for Osborne-Paradis.

Top 5 results:

Gold – Marcel Hirscher (AUT)

Silver – Alexis Pintaurault (FRA)

Bronze – Victor Muffat-Jeandet

4 – Marco Schwarz (AUT)

5 – Ted Ligety (USA)

 

Canadian men’s results:

20 - James (Jack) Crawford

23 - Broderick Thompson

DNS Run 2  - Benjamin Thomsen

DNF Run 1 - Manny Osborne-Paradis

Full results here.

Next alpine event will be the ladies’ slalom – catch it live on CBC broadcast at 8:15pm EST.

 

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