Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Svindal makes history as oldest skier to win Olympic gold

Svindal makes history as oldest skier to win Olympic gold

Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing champion in history as he delivered a performance fit for the watching Crown Prince to secure the men's downhill gold medal here today.

Svindal's Downhill success is the first time Norway have won gold in the event since 1948.

The race was initially due to be held on Sunday (February 11) but was re-scheduled due to the strong winds which have caused severe disruption to the schedule of Alpine skiing events at Pyeongchang 2018.

"I think it's a little bit unusual, to be honest, that we're having the Olympics and there's that few people in the stands, and it's a bit sad", Svindal said.

"I'm extremely happy. World Cup wins, I've been there a few times and know how it feels, but this is different".

"It's one of those things where you keep looking up the hill because I want to make sure it's real, like no one comes and skis faster. But this is fine".

Norway's Kjetil Jansrud earned silver with a time of 1:40.37, while Switzerland's Beat Feuz took bronze with a time of 1:40.43.

And so it proved as a host of the stockier racers adept at maximising speed in the gliding sections also managed slick manoeuvring over a couple of savage jumps that led straight into sharp turns.

"It's always good to get a medal for Switzerland, of course I hope there will be more, but it's very nice at the moment".

Svindal stopped the clock at 1min 40.25 sec in the one-run shootout to secure his second Olympic title eight years after his last.

Svindal, a five-time World Champion, was slow out of the gates but his speed picked up on the bottom half of the course to post the winning time.

The American also won bronze in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic downhill, while Svindal got silver.

A breathless Svindal suffering thigh-muscle burn pumped the air as he swept into the finish area, a quick look at the leader board showing his name above that of Feuz. Since Sochi, Svindal has endured a trifecta of injuries to his meniscus, ACL, and Achilles.

No man has ever retained the Olympic downhill title and defending champion Matthias Mayer's chance was gone soon after halfway.

Italian Paris finished fourth with German Thomas Dressen in fifth and both joined other rivals in hailing Svindal. "Sometimes then there are mistakes".

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