Master craftsman Hirscher wins second Olympic gold
Pre-race favorite Marcel Hirscher of Austria lived up to and exceeded the hype on Sunday at PyeongChang 2018 as he claimed his second gold medal of these Olympic Winter Games in the men's giant slalom. The master craftsman who seemed only to be missing Olympic gold from his resume prior to his trip to South Korea now has two to his name. With his victory, he became the 10th male alpine skier to win multiple gold medals at a single Winter Games and the first since his fellow countryman Benni Raich in 2006.
Despite a hefty lead after the first run, Hirscher did not let up on his second run and ultimately bested the field by a massive 1.27 seconds. His nearest competitor was the familiar face of Henrik Kristoffersen, but the Norwegian had to battle back from 10th place after the first run to secure the second Olympic medal of his career and first in giant slalom with silver.
The second-place challenger from the first run, Alexis Pinturault of France, skied an equally solid second run to finish with bronze, matching his performance at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and adding to his alpine combined silver from earlier at PyeongChang 2018.
Clear weather but challenging course setting, changing snow conditions from top to bottom, and the intensity of the Games proved quite difficult for a number of the world's best competitors.
The men race slalom next at PyeongChang 2018 at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre on Thursday 22 February.
On winning gold in giant slalom:
"Wow. It was not so easy to be the absolute favorite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run knowing that Henrik (KRISTOFFERSEN) ripped it. I had no choice, I knew I have to give 100% and I have to go into this battle."
On winning two golds at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games:
"Now it pays off. The first Olympics, they were not so successful. I mean, finishing fourth and fifth, it was OK. The next Olympics, in Sochi, second and fourth place. So a lot of fourth place. And now, I think it pays off."
On going from 10th place to second:
"Today I won the silver medal. I didn't lose the gold today because the gold was partly already a given before the first run so I'm really happy.
"It was a little disappointing that I don't do better in the first run so I could kind of give Marcel a little bit of a fight because at the moment, it's not a fight. He's just beating by everybody by a lot. But still, silver medal, it's great.
On his performance:
"I'm really, really happy about what I made and very proud to share this podium with Henrik and Marcel. I think it was a really great fight. Marcel was for sure the leader today. He was the only one. Then behind him, we made a really big fight with Henrik and Zan to be on the podium all together.
On winning his second medal of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games:
"It was my two biggest chance with the combined and the GS today. I finished second and third, so for sure in the future, one of my goals is to get a gold medal."