BREAKING NEWS Breaking News Full Story

Norway's Svindal makes history as oldest Olympic skiing champion

He's one of Norway's best-loved and most successful winter athletes and now Aksel Lund Svindal has made history by be...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 7:32 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 7:32 AM

He's one of Norway's best-loved and most successful winter athletes and now Aksel Lund Svindal has made history by becoming the oldest skier to win Olympic gold and his country's first in the speed discipline.

The 35-year-old beat close friend and countryman Kjetil Jansrud into silver with Swiss world champion Beat Feuz in bronze in what is often considered the blue riband event of the Winter Olympics.

Aksel Lund Svindal wins men's downhill gold

He becomes Norway's first downhill champion

Svindal has been one of the dominant skiers of his generation, with multiple world titles and World Cup crowns as well as Olympic super-G gold, downhill silver and giant slalom bronze in Vancouver in 2010, but Olympic downhill gold had always eluded him.

But on a perfect day after a week of high wind and delays at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, Svindal defied history to edge Sochi super-G champion Jansrud by 0.12 seconds with Feuz 0.18 secs back.

READ: Winter Olympics day 6: As it happened

READ: Olympic downhill champions tell tales of gold

Svindal is three months older than Austria's Mario Matt was when he won the slalom at the age of 34 in Sochi. American Bode Miller became skiing's oldest male medalist when he won bronze at Sochi at the age of 36.

"When you cross the finish line and you see that you've had a good race and you're in the medals or even for the gold, you don't think too much about the history books," Svindal told reporters afterwards.

"It's emotional, and being in the Olympics and competing for gold and being able to get it, for me at least those feelings are much stronger than any history ever written."

Managing injury

Svindal began his Olympic career in Turin in 2006 and has since won five world titles, including the downhill in 2007 and 2013, and two World Cup overall crowns alongside 35 World Cup wins.

However, downhill skiing legend Franz Klammer told CNN in the build-up to the Games a speed skier's greatness was judged on whether they won Olympic gold. The Austrian great said he would have judged himself a "failure" without it.

But the margins are miniscule.

In Vancouver, Svindal missed out on downhill gold by 0.07 seconds behind the winner, Didier D-fago of Switzerland, and was only 0.02 secs ahead of Miller in bronze.

READ: Mikaela Shiffrin begins gold quest with giant slalom win

Four years later he could only finish fourth in downhill after carrying Norway's flag at the opening ceremony, and since then has endured a string of serious injuries which have forced him to miss large chunks of the World Cup circuit.

He suffered a season-ending crash at Kitzbuehel in 2016 and missed the following season after knee surgery.

This season he has scored three World Cup wins so far, but still has to limit his training time to manage his knee.

READ: Inside the mind of a downhill racer

READ: Best photos from day 6 in Pyeongchang

'Last Olympics'

Svindal admitted in the afterglow of winning gold that his illustrious career was drawing to close.

"I guess this is the beginning of the end somehow, definitely my last Olympics. Nothing is 100% sure but that's very, very close to being 100% sure," he added.

The Sochi downhill gold medalist, Matthias Mayer of Austria, finished ninth to continue the streak that no one has won back-to-back men's downhill titles in the 70-year history of the event at the Winter Games.

The men's speed skiers will contest the rearranged super-G at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre Friday.

Huntsville
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Florence
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 76°
Fayetteville
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Scottsboro
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18766

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 25190

Reported Deaths: 401
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby5546124
Davidson551666
Trousdale13944
Rutherford134328
Hamilton96419
Sumner93846
Lake8350
Bledsoe6101
Williamson58911
Putnam5246
Robertson5235
Tipton4613
Wilson4498
Knox4355
Out of TN4264
Bedford2974
Montgomery2863
Rhea2170
Hardeman2020
Madison1732
Bradley1661
Macon1663
Loudon1610
Unassigned1610
McMinn14614
Fayette1362
Cheatham1350
Dickson1200
Cumberland1202
Maury1071
Sevier972
Blount933
Coffee780
Washington750
Monroe713
Wayne640
Gibson631
Sullivan602
Lauderdale591
Hickman580
Dyer570
Franklin541
Greene522
Unicoi480
Obion453
Marion441
Hamblen422
Anderson422
DeKalb380
Smith361
Hawkins342
Marshall331
Lawrence330
Haywood332
White330
Cannon320
Overton320
Henry320
Grundy311
Lincoln290
Jefferson290
Carroll281
Meigs270
Warren260
Weakley260
Perry240
Hardin222
Cocke210
Sequatchie200
Johnson190
Polk190
Jackson190
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Crockett162
Roane160
Henderson150
Humphreys151
McNairy150
Grainger130
Giles130
Stewart130
Claiborne120
Scott120
Fentress120
Chester120
Clay80
Houston80
Benton71
Moore50
Decatur50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events