PyeongChang, KOR. (February 22, 2018) – Today marks the final individual alpine events at the 2018 Olympic Games with the ladies' alpine combined taking place at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre and the men’s slalom running over at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. 21yr old Valérie Grenier (St-Isidore, ON) led the Canadian team today, finishing in sixth-place, while 26yr old Phil Brown (Toronto, ON) finished the slalom in 22nd-place.
The 2018 alpine combined Olympic champion was Michelle Gisin (SUI) who stormed the slalom to move up two positions and take home gold. Race favourite Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) was the silver medallist, adding to her gold from the giant slalom, by moving up two spots after the downhill. It was Gisin’s teammate, Wendy Holdener (SUI) who rounded out the podium to bring home bronze for Switzerland.
Canada’s speed queen Valérie Grenier took advantage of having run the downhill track a number of times in preparation for the alpine combined, landing in eighth-place after her first run. “I wasn’t really expecting to see seventh when I got to the bottom, but I’m really happy with that and I’m excited for the slalom, reported Grenier after her downhill run. “I’m going to go and do a couple slalom runs to get into the quicker beat, and hopefully just ski really clean as I tend to be a bit crazy in slalom, so I just have to put one run down and hope for the best.”
In the slalom leg, Grenier put down a clean run that saw her charge from top to bottom, crossing the finish line in third position. With the big names still to come, Grenier watched the remainder of the field attack the course, ultimately moving up two spots to finish her Olympic alpine combined debut in 6th-place. “Honestly, I’m really, really happy. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said an elated Grenier from the media zone. “It feels amazing to know I was sixth at the Olympics behind so many good slalom girls.” When asked how Grenier has enjoyed her first Olympic experience she stated, “It was amazing, I had so much fun. Having my family here too, that was amazing for me, as it felt so good to see them in the finish, cheering really loud. I had a lot of fun with my teammates too. It’s been a blast.”
It was a disappointing day for both 23yr old Candace Crawford (Toronto, ON) and 22yr old Roni Remme (Collingwood, ON) who both went out in the downhill portion of the alpine combined. Crawford took an aggressive line and missed a gate when her feet touched back down. “I came in with a little more speed into one section and didn’t have enough direction. I tried to tighten up going into one of the doubles and went off a roll a little too straight and wasn’t able to make the next gate,” said Crawford after the downhill. “I can take some positives out of this last week on the speed track.”
Remme was held in the start moments before her run and flat light descended upon the course as she launched onto the track. Under full attack, Remme got caught an edge and went down hard on to the surface, sliding into the netting. “Today didn’t quite go as expected. I really wanted to try to attack it harder today than I did any of the other days and really go for it as my confidence was really coming up,” said Remme post her run. “I’ve learned so much from this Olympic experience. Learning how to adapt, staying on top of your mental game with all the rescheduling and postponements, you really had to take all the information and go into the next day with the same enthusiasm and intensity as the day before. These Games really forced us to change our mental approach.”
At the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, it was Sweden’s Andre Myhrer who won the gold medal in the men’s slalom, finishing the hard fought race in a time of 1:38.99. Silver went to Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern who moved up seven spots to land on the podium, just +0.34sec from first. Taking home bronze was Austria’s Michael Matt, who moved up nine spots to secure his first Olympic podium, joining his brother and 2014 Olympic slalom champion, Mario Matt as Olympic medallists.
Phil Brown was the top Canadian finisher today in the tough competition in the slalom. Brown was in 26th-place after first run, putting him into a great position for his second run. As the fifth competitor down the track, Brown took advantage of a clean course, fighting the whole way down and charging through to the finish to capture 22nd overall. “I had fun today and it was disappointing just to not ski the way I would like to but I think it was overall a good day,” Brown reported post race. “It was a lot of fun to be skiing relaxed. It’s a pretty challenging hill so there’s a lot happening in 48 seconds, but generally it’s pretty solid.”
After an outstanding 11th-place result in the giant slalom, 26yr old Erik Read (Calgary, AB) was motivated and determined to show the world what he can do on slalom skis. Read skied the first run well, however wasn’t as clean as he needed to be, ending up in 23rd-place. In his second run, Read got caught on two skis and went off course before correcting his line and finishing his first Olympic Games slalom event in 29th-place. “The first run was a pretty tricky course and to really push hard with the snow was tricky because it’s very dry and you don’t get a lot of power from it,” said a disappointed Read from the finish. “I went with a different pair of skis for the second run that turned a little better and I did feel better, but I knew I was coming from behind so I was pushing and I got caught inside and looped around the gate unfortunately.”
Rounding out the Canadian Team was 25yr old Trevor Philp (Calgary, AB), skiing a solid first run and finishing in 25th position. Philp was the sixth competitor out of the gate in the second run, looking to take advantage of the prime track. Philp fell victim to the tough set, exiting the course and ending his day. “I just didn’t get the feeling second run but my idea was to push and see how much I could make up, but it just didn’t work out today.”
Full results – ladies’ alpine combined
Full results – men’s slalom
Canadian ladies’ alpine combined results:
6 - Valérie Grenier
DNF1 - Candace Crawford
DNF1 - Roni Remme
Canadian men’s slalom results:
22 - Phil Brown
29 – Erik Read
DNF2 – Trevor Philp
Next alpine event will be the final race of the 2018 Olympic Games with the Team Event on Friday, February 23rd at 9:00pm EST
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.