Svindal delivers first-ever men's downhill gold for Norway
Aksel Lund Svindal made history for Norway on Thursday at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre as the 35-year-old Attacking Viking skied full risk to claim the first men’s downhill gold medal for his nation. He was joined on the podium by his teammate Kjetil Jansrud who also skied aggressively and finished with the silver medal just 0.12 seconds off the lead. Reigning downhill World Champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland completed the podium in third at +0.18 seconds for his first Olympic medal in bronze.
With his victory, Svindal became the first man to win the downhill three times at the World Championships (2007, 2013) and Olympic Winter Games (2018) combined. He also joined Kjetil Andre Aamodt as the only Norwegian alpine skiers with multiple Olympic gold medals. Downhill was the only men’s alpine skiing event at the Olympic Winter Games that Norway lacked a medal in prior to Thursday.
Jansrud added to his Olympic medal collection that includes super-G gold and downhill bronze from 2014 and giant slalom silver from 2010. Feuz’s prior best Olympic result had been 13th in the 2014 Sochi downhill.
The weather proved phenomenal for the best ski racers in the world with sunny skies and no sign of the heavy winds that plagued the opening days at Jeongseon. The men’s super-G will be contested on Friday starting at 11:00 KST.
Aksel Lund SVINDAL (NOR)
On leading the men's downhill:
"It feels pretty good. I'm extremely happy.
"World Cup wins, I've been there a few times and know how that 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."
On becoming the oldest-ever alpine skiing gold medallist:
"That's all good but there's something about the pressure you put on yourself as well, how bad you want it. I think that's a thing you think about after but right now it's just the emotions when you cross the finish line and you see that you're ahead and that's bigger than any record."